A piano is a heavy, bulky, and delicate instrument. The pianos weigh anywhere from 300 to 1000 pounds (136 kg to 453 kg). Considering the price, it’s also expensive. A single scratch, bump, or knock can cause significant damage to the sound or value of your piano. So, moving a piano is not about convenience but protecting your valuable asset. To safely move your piano, you’ll need a professional help who takes calculated risks and uses the necessary equipment like the piano board, heavy-duty straps, etc. Given the fact that there are almost 10,000 moving components in a piano, here’s how to transfer a piano safely:
Preparing For Moving A Piano Yourself
If you’re planning to move a piano by yourself or through a piano moving service, we recommend following these tips for moving a piano:
Assessing the piano and the moving route
The first step in preparing for the piano move is to assess the piano and the moving route.
- Look at the piano’s new location and ensure the route is clear and obstacle-free.
- Measure the hallways, pathways, and stairways to plan accordingly.
- Assess the piano; is it a grand piano, upright or digital? Their difference in size, length, and weight makes each move different.
- Look at the decorative features of the piano that might need extra care during the move.
Gathering necessary equipment and supplies
- Furniture pads: To protect the floors and walls of your piano by wrapping the instrument securely.
- Heavy-duty straps: To prevent the piano from slipping and tipping, use good straps.
- 4-Wheeled dolly: To move the piano easily in tight spaces and corners.
- Moving blankets: To cushion the piano so that the blanket absorbs any shock or impact.
- Skid Board: To minimize the risk of damage to piano legs or wheels.
- Tape: To prevent the piano from slipping.
- Gloves: To add grip on the piano and avoid accidental slippage.
- Stair ramp: To ease the piano’s weight while moving it downstairs.
Organizing a moving team or hiring a professional piano mover
Now that you are familiar with all the equipment you’ll need during the move, you might wonder where to get these types of equipment. That’s easy with a moving company. You can rent it!
Moving a piano is a lot of work if you’re trying to do it independently. So don’t try to attempt it alone. You’ll also need 3-5 strong and professional moving teams. You must organize a professional piano mover or assemble a moving crew.
Research reputable piano movers in your area and compare quotes before hiring. If you decide to make your team, choose friends/family who can lift heavy weights.
Communicating with the moving team
Communication is key to a successful piano moving project. Ensure that you’re properly delegating tasks as per the need. See if everyone is on the same page and understands their role and responsibilities. Doing this step helps reduce unexpected injuries.
Wrapping and Securing the Piano
The crucial steps in moving a piano are wrapping and securing it. Here’s the correct way to wrap and tie the piano:
Removing all loose items from the piano
While wrapping the piano, the first thing to do is remove the items that can fall or get damaged during the move. So, clear out the loose items on the piano, such as music sheets, books, or other decorations.
Protecting the piano with blankets and padding
As you know, the main purpose of a blanket or pad is to prevent scratches or dents on the piano; this step is crucial. If you’re moving the piano downstairs or in the narrow hallways, wrap your piano with thick and sturdy blankets.
Securing the piano with straps or ropes
Once wrapping and padding are complete, it’s time to secure it. Use straps or ropes with tape to secure the piano from shifting and sliding during the move. Don’t tighten the belts to the extent that it might damage the piano.
Tips for moving a piano across the room
Tip 1: Clear the pathway
Strictly remove any furniture, carpet, or objects that can get in the way while moving a piano.
Have you taken any measures for the hallway or doorway before moving it, like we’ve told you before? If not, that’s your cue to take it now!
Measure the piano’s dimensions, doorway, and pathway to ensure the piano can fit through these areas.
Tip 2: Protect the piano
As mentioned earlier, padding or blanketing the piano helps prevent the piano from tipping over or scratching.
Tip 3: Unscrew the piano pedals
If your piano has a pedal, unscrew them to make the piano lighter and easier to handle.
Tip 5: Lift with care
Avoid bending or twisting your back. Lift the piano with your legs and keep your back straight.
Tip 6: Use a dolly to transport
Remember, the right equipment makes moving a piano much smoother. So use a sturdy dolly to transport the piano across the room. Keep the piano in an upright position to not let it tip.
Steps To Move the Piano Carefully
Here are some tips for moving a piano:
Lifting the piano properly
Correct lifting technique is very important while moving a piano. For this step:
- Make sure that the piano lid is closed. Lock the top if possible.
- Gather four people. Every individual must wear gloves and closed-toe shoes and avoid baggy clothing.
- All people should ensure even distribution around the piano to distribute its weight.
- Determine the piano’s center of gravity. To find the center or balance point, mark the center between the keyboard and the back end.
- Secure the blanket and straps or ropes to the piano in a crisscross pattern beneath the piano.
- Let one person hold the strap.
- One person should lift the bottom of the piano.
- The other two must support the side and back of the piano.
- Start lifting the piano.
Congratulations, you now know how to lift the piano properly.
Moving the piano through doorways and up or downstairs
When moving a piano through doorways or upstairs or downstairs, always ensure to measure the piano and doorways. After successfully lifting the piano, place it on the 4-wheeler dolly.
While moving a piano through the doorways, tilt slightly to one side and rotate the opening. Try not to scrape the side or top of the piano against the door frame.
Use the stair ramp to move the piano up and down the stairs. Assign a person to clear the bumps or exit the threshold. Two movers should stay at the front of the piano and two at the back.
Now slowly walk on the ramp. Try taking small steps as you push and pull the piano. That’s how you can safely move the piano up and down. Or place your piano from one place to another in your house.
How to move a piano from one house to another?
Carry with the same lifting and moving technique to move a piano outside the house. Here are a few tips other than that:
Tip 1: Consider hiring a moving service
Moving a piano from one destination to another will likely need professional help. The reason why we say this is because you’ll need much more advanced equipment and professionals.
Tip 2: Rent a truck that can accommodate a piano of its size
A professional moving service can effectively do this task for you. However, if you’re on your own, try renting a truck with the appropriate space to fit your piano inside the truck. You can take the necessary measurements before putting the piano inside the truck.
Tip 3: Push the piano on the truck ramp
To do this, use the same method you did on the stair ramp. Place 2 movers at the end of the piano and two movers on the other side. One person should be at the side of the ramp to stabilize the piano so that it won’t tilt back perpendicularly to the ramp.
Tip 4: Strap the piano against the truck wall
To do this, use moving straps to strap the piano length and breadth-wise against the wall of the truck. Tighten the belts so the piano can only shift an inch (or 2.5cm) from the strap.
Use the same lifting and pushing technique to move the piano back to the new house.
After the Move
You must check a few things on the piano. Here is how you can do it:
Check the piano for any damage or issues
Look at the piano’s exterior, especially the legs, pedals, and corners. Check the chips, dents, or cracks around the piano.
Here are two further steps based on the situation:
Scenario 1: Your moving service made your piano move, and you see damages. In that case, you can ask for a repair refund.
Scenario 2: You made a piano move by yourself, and if you see damages on the piano. Then you must consult a professional piano technician.
Do you need to tune your piano after moving?
It is an important query among all the movers. The piano’s internal components keep changing due to the temperature, humidity, or shift.
If the distance of the piano move is shorter, it won’t go out of tune. But waiting a few weeks or months before scheduling a tuning appointment is safe.
However, if the moving distance was longer, it ultimately depends on how professionally you moved the piano.
Tips for maintaining a piano after a move
- Always check the temperature and humidity level of the piano room. The best temperature is 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit. The best humidity level is 40%-50%.
- Don’t place the piano near direct heat or cold. Avoid placing it in front of the AC or radiator.
- Clean your piano and avoid using harsh chemicals.
- Cover the piano with a cover or blanket to protect it from dust, spills, or scratches.
Moving a piano to its new location or home needs comprehensive planning and preparation. Always place the piano at its new destination, with ample space and protection from direct sunlight and moisture. Do your research first and gather the necessary instruments. You can protect and play your piano for years by doing these simple steps!