I do not recommend steam cleaners on hardwood floors!
We have used vapor technology for about 11 years in our business. Our vapor machines are the commercial version of the residential steam cleaner. Not only are we experienced in the use of vapor machines, we actually took a 2 day course on vapor cleaning and techniques.
For natural stone, tile, concrete and grout I think steam cleaning for floors is a great alternative to mopping- when used with proper and effective techniques. Matter of a fact, there are lots of fantastic uses of steam/vapor cleaning.
However, for hardwood floors, I do not recommend using steam cleaning. Why, you ask? Because water and wood do not mix. I wouldn't use our professional steam/vapor machines on hardwood. The heat and water could be very detrimental to your hardwood floors. I know there are some steam cleaners that are advertising for hardwood floor cleaning but I would be very, very cautious if I were you.
If you don't believe me, and that's OK, please call the manufacture of your floors and ask them before you proceed. If for some odd reason, your manufacture says yes, then please call us first so at least we can give you some tips for the best use of steam cleaning. And just so you know, I might try to talk you out of using that method.
If you have already purchased your steam cleaner, don't fret, they can be a helpful part of your home care -for other surfaces besides your wood. We use our vapor/steam techniques all the time but not on water or heat sensitive surfaces. Don't forget you can always call us for cleaning tips and consultations.
Wishing you a happy and healthy home.