Essential Tips for Moving a Piano Safely

From Beethoven to Louis Lortie, every person who has art in their heart, is inspired by music, especially the one that originates from piano. All those who love music would love to have a piano at their place. Buying a piano and moving it to your music room are two quite different things. The latter one is difficult and not everyone knows how to move a piano? Those who try to move it by themselves often end up hurting themselves or the piano and their last resort is to call a professional for assistance. Spending a few dollars on getting help is better than losing many if you break your leg or the piano. So, I recommend you make the decision wisely.

Items to stock up on when moving a piano

Pianos do not come in a standard size, as the type changes the size changes with it. However, no matter how much the size is, the average is still large enough to be carried by a single person and because of its complicated build, you shouldn’t risk moving it up yourself. Whether you want to move a piano upstairs to your flat, apartment or to the next room because you want to change the décor of your house, there are items you need to buy or stock up on, so you don’t put yourself in trouble later on. I’m mentioning them here in a list:

  • Scotch tape, Aluminum tape, Polyester tape; all should be collected in a box
  • Fiber gloves because the rubber ones are slippery
  • Cloth for wrapping
  • 4-wheeled heavy dolly
  • Cardboard sheets
  • Styrofoam sheets
  • Chains or lifting straps

Initial steps on how to move a piano?

First on this list is, Knowing the dimensions of your piano set. You should take a measuring tape and find out how much area your piano covers. If you have the user manual, you can also find out the size and area of the piano in it. After this, moving it would be easy. Doing this will save you some costs which you have to pay to the professionals for extra services.

Clear out route obstacles:

You need to make sure the route, doorway or stairs, from where you are going to move your piano are cleared out of any slippery item. Remove the rugs and carpets. Check if the door or entrance is wide enough to let the piano pass through it. Make sure there is no water spillage on the floor or anything in which you can stick and fall.

Clear your piano: if you have placed any decoration piece or papers on the piano, remove them. They might fall while carrying and moving and can cause potential trouble.

Cover with the lid: never forget to cover the keys with the lid. If you don’t, it may fall while carrying and can hurt your fingers. Also, wrap the piano’s feet with tape or cloth to protect them from scratches during the movement. Place a wide fabric sheet on the piano to avoid scratches also.

Place it on 4-wheeled dolly:

This is the task for which you need professionals’ help. Lifting the piano, which is quite heavy if it is a grand one, is not easy. You need to make sure there are no injuries involved and also the piano does not get any scratched or the sides do not chip off. Their weight is usually half a 1000kg and the upright one lies between 100-150 kg. The professionals also wear gloves to protect their nails and fingers from getting bruised. Sometimes, electric lifters are used to pick up the piano and place it on the dolly. After placing it safely, you need to use the straps to hold the piano in place during the route. Even moving the wheeled dolly is not easy, you have to be careful about the directions of the wheels.

Placing in the moving van:

While the professionals place the piano in the van, they make sure they used an inclined plane of a ramp to move it up easily and after that they make sure that the piano does not land in the middle of the van as in this way, it will come across turns and speed breakers in a bad way which can cause damage to the piano. So, it is best to lean it against one sidewall of the truck and then some Styrofoam sheets should also be placed to save it from shocks during the journey.

how to transport a piano

How to transport a piano? –the Grand one

Efficacy is required to move a grand piano as it is quite heavy and cannot be done by an unprofessional. Follow these approaches mentioned to move it without difficulty:

  • Cover the keys with the lid and use a tape or adhesive paper to make sure it stays there. You can also use a piece of cloth or paper towel to stick on both ends of the keyboard.
  • If the lid is removable, it is better to do so. It can then be placed in another cardboard box after wrapping it up in bubble wrap or cotton cloth.
  • You need to separate out the piano pins with a screwdriver and place them in a separate plastic vacuum bag with sealing on the top, so you don’t lose any.
  • Unscrew the legs one by one in an order starting from number one and ending on four. Wrap them separately and place them in a separate box.
  • Try to take help from two people who can hold the piano while the other removes the rest of the legs. You can also see professionals who do this, they usually work by forming a trio and then removing the legs.
  • After everything which can be removed is separated out and placed in separate boxes, place sheets on the piano and then use straps to bind them.

After the packing of the piano, the professionals will always use an elevator to move the piano if it is not on the ground floor. And if stairs are the only way, then almost 4 of the workers will move the piano downstairs. They will then load it into the truck with great care and make sure it stays in place without jerking when speed breakers hit.

How to move a piano? –the baby one

The baby piano is just like the grand piano, only a bit smaller in size. The build is just the same and it can be carried by two persons only. There is no need to call the professionals for help to do this job. Although, you still have to be careful and for that you just have to follow the steps mentioned above. Grab a friend and do the job because if you carry out the moving yourself, you may get exhausted and there’s a slight chance you are not able to handle it all by yourself if you do not have that much strong biceps. Also, it is an asset and you don’t want to lower its value!

If your rooms are carpeted, How to move a piano there?

If you have a lot of rugs in your room and you can’t remove them or the rooms are fully carpeted and the carpets are glued to the floor, then you don’t have much of a choice than to move the piano on them. This adds to the complexity of the process and you might get injured or get your instrument damaged if you don’t know the pro techniques. If you don’t have a dolly available at hand and the piano does not have wheeled legs then the only option left is to disassemble the instrument and then move the pieces one by one.

One thing which is strictly prohibited in this scenario is dragging the piano on the rugs or carpets. There is a chance they get stuck in the hem of the carpet or rug and might trip over upside down. Because of being heavy, there’s a lot of risk in doing so. Rather, you must do these things to carry out the process without risks:

Take a hardboard or an iron plate which is thin and strong at the same time. If it is thick, you might not be able to carry the piano and place it on the plate and if it is not strong it won’t bear the weight of your piano. Gently slide it under the legs of the piano.

I strongly advise and recommend you ask for professional help if your piano is grand and heavy. The professionals know how to lift the piano and place it on the plate accordingly and keenly. Then you have to drag the plates on which the piano is placed. Make sure the piano does not slide off the plates.

Do not try to cover the whole distance in one go. Try to stop at some points, take a breath and then continue. Place the piano where you want it and then ask the professionals to remove the plates. Don’t try to do this part yourself because the weight will now fall downwards much more quickly than before and you don’t want to break your fingers.

how to move a piano

How to move a piano? –Wooden floors version

The process of moving a piano on wooden floors is not much different than the one mentioned in the above category. Just make sure you consider these tips:

  • Inspect the piano for any damaged corners, or a leg which is loosened along with time and make sure there’s no crack in the structure before moving it.
  • Make the piano light in weight by removing the parts which you can and move them separately.
  • Do not drag the piano directly, it will cause scratches on the floor.

How to transport a piano with ramps?

While moving the piano with ramps, just make sure you do these:

  • The ramps should be made of hard metal if there’s no elevator and you have only stairs to make use of.
  • While placing the inclined ramp in front of the truck or van, make sure it is suitable to carry the weight and is adjusted in a way that it does not slip aside.
  • Have a spare ramp with you always to avoid any mishap.
  • The lower end of the ramp should have more people while moving up the instrument because if it slips, they have a strong hand to control it.
  • Try exerting equal force at every step you take while moving the piano. Take baby steps, don’t rush things. Gravity is stronger than you!
  • Professionals know how to do the process and they always have one person who observes the whole movement, making sure that nothing goes out of place and the grip and dimensions of movements stay aligned.

Transport your piano up and down the stairs with precision

The most complicated and complex movement of a heavy piano is through the stairs, whether you carry it up or bring it down. That is why you need experts. A missed step and you will risk your health, safety and your piano at the same time. Even straps cannot help if the stairs are more than 10 and you cannot drag a dolly that long too. You need your instrument to be carried without a single scratch and through the stairs.

Apart from fine packing, you need strong muscles to do the task and that is why you have to plan each and every move keenly and take precise steps to achieve safe movement. Though it is tiring and tedious, you cannot move faster and shouldn’t even try to. You know all the things, just take your time and start working accordingly. Don’t forget to have the listed items with you.

Take notice of these things!
  • If somehow, your piano slips and there’s no way you can handle it, try to save yourself only. Your health and safety matters. A bad injury can prove to be fatal.
  • Ask a pianist or the one who knows the strings and keys to tune your piano once you have moved it because carrying it can change settings.
  • If you do not have another place to move your piano to and you have to clear out the previous place, make sure you store it in some place safe and don’t remove the packing or the covers from the piano to avoid dust and particles getting into it.

We hope after reading this you get all the things you wanted to know and if you need expert assistance, call Hello Removals, as they are the best in town!

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