Pianos make a wonderful addition to any home. Whether they are played every day or just once a year, they are definitely the centerpiece of whatever room they are in. However, when moving to a new home, transporting these instruments can be a hassle. Since all pianos are large, fragile, and expensive, the best option is to have professionals handle the move rather than doing it yourself.
We want to start by saying that we recommend using professional piano movers.
There are many reasons to do so and if you truly value your piano (and your back), it is something to consider seriously. However, if you truly want and able to be moving a piano yourself, you need to learn the basics of how to move a piano.
How to Move a Piano – Check List
A small upright piano weighs approximately 300-400 lbs whereas bigger upright pianos can weigh up to 800-900 lbs and grand pianos can get up to 1200 lbs. Moving such weight is an easy task. Make sure that you have enough eligible people that can help you through the move.
Measure carefully the piano, the doorways and corridors all the way up to the new location. Sounds like the most basic thing but most people trust their eyes and are surprised halfway through.
If you find the piano does not have a clear path all the way to its destination – whether because you need to take it apart or because you need a lift etc. our advice to you is to stop learning how to move a piano and start making calls to professional piano movers.
How to Move a Piano by Yourself
We know that you trust yourself on how to move a piano but maybe the first thing to make sure is that your piano insurance covers damages to the piano made while moving it. also, since your friends are helping you with the heavy lifting – make sure that you also have a liability coverage.
Assuming that the piano doesn’t need to be taken apart, wrap it with nice padded blankets (not sheets) that will protect it. Pay special attention to the pianos corners as they are more delicate than other parts and tend to get hit more often during the move.
Make sure that all moving parts are tight shut.
Piano movers often use a board (piano board) to slide the piano instead of lifting it. This board is similar to a big skateboard and can easily be built but keep in mind the amount of weight that it should carry.
How to Move a Piano – Step by Step Guide
Before we begin, here is the list of the recommended piano moving equipment:
- Working Gloves
- Piano Dolly (highly recommended)
- Three to Four healthy movers with no known back pains.
Hereby are the instructions:
- Measure the piano and make sure that you have room for it at point of destination (don’t forget to leave place for the piano chair).
- Clear all obstacles and make a clear path before you begin.
- Close and lock all moving parts of the piano. In long distance moves (anywhere outside your home), make sure to cover it properly with protective plastic or blankets.
- You should try moving the piano endways as much as possible and not sideways. Tip: even inside the room you should use Piano Dolly and in some occasions, depends on the size and weight, you might need several Piano Dollies.
- If you are not using a Piano Dolly, make sure to roll it slowly slowly – Do not lift it off the floor.
- When mounting the piano onto the heavy-duty dolly, make sure to bend your knees and not your back.
- Support the piano from all sides during the move – make sure not to tip it. Proper slow and careful move will preserve the piano and will also save the need for piano tuning later on.
Differences between How to move an Upright Piano and Moving a Grand Piano
There are some basic understandable differences between moving an upright piano and moving a grand piano which are caused due to the differences in weight and shape of the two.
The upright piano weight varies between 400-800 pounds whereas the grand piano weight is anywhere between 800-1200 pounds. This means that while you may move an upright piano using only two people (preferably three), in moving a grand piano will require at least three people (preferably four). The movers will transport it as-is, however upright pianos have more complex internal mechanisms, which are easier to damage than those of grand pianos. Because of this, great care is needed when moving an upright piano around.
Another difference is the way you carry around the pianos while you move them. When moving an upright piano you should try and move it endways and not to tilt it. This is easily possible due to its shape. When moving a Grand piano outside the room you will need to dismantle its legs and then you will have to tilt it sideways and carry it while it is on its side.
The movers remove the lid for a grand piano and cover it with cardboard, pads and moving blankets. The lyre (pedals) will be removed and packed accordingly. Next, the piano is put on its side and on a skid board (on which the it is moved). The legs are removed and the piano wrapped carefully. So that it can be safely shipped with all of its parts.
Upon arrival at your new home, your piano will need to be reassembled (if it’s a grand) and retuned. After that, it should be all set to be played once again.
Assembling the piano in the new home
When the piano arrives at its new home, the movers will remove the wrapping and reassemble it. Make sure the movers know where you want them to be. When choosing a place for your piano, keep in mind that they need plenty of space around them. Also, as extreme temperature changes can cause the piano's wood to be warped, don't put it too close to any windows, doors, or heating vents. Once in place, carefully inspect your piano for any damages that may have occurred during the move. Of course, you're probably going to want your piano tuned soon after it's placed in your new home.
How to Move a Piano – Final Advice
We know that the price of the piano moving is quite expensive. However, a wrong slip and the piano would be practically worthless. Also keep in mind that moving is something is usually done only once every few years and if you split the costs, it’s not so bad.
With that said and now that you know how to move a piano, we have only one thing to tell you and that is to use professional piano movers. If your move is more than changing rooms on the same floor, save your back and the money you will pay for a new piano and simply hire a piano moving company.