A piano move is hard work the DIY way: but we have the insider expertise to make it as smooth and safe as possible

Posted on: Wed Aug 9 by Oncree Digital

How to move a piano

If you’re searching for how to move a piano, you’ve come to the right place. As a professional removals company with over a century of moving people to new homes and offices, we know what it takes to prepare, load, and deliver these valuable instruments to your new address. 

It’s daunting but doable 

The process of moving a piano into your new home can be challenging and risky. It requires careful planning, equipment, and help. While hiring a moving company is highly recommended, this guide aims to assist those determined to go the DIY route, especially if employing the expertise of professional piano movers is not a viable option.

The difference between grand pianos & upright pianos

Pianos come in two main types: grand pianos and upright pianos. The former, with its horizontal strings, is bulkier and heavier, making it more suitable for professional movers. On the other hand, upright pianos have vertical strings, making them more compact and relatively easier to move, especially into a moving truck. However, it’s important to note that both types of instruments are extremely heavy, regardless of their design

The key to safely moving a piano

Safely moving a piano requires at least 3 to 6 people who are physically capable and without existing injuries. To make the process more manageable, heavy-duty moving straps and a heavy-duty dolly are essential tools. These aids carry the brunt of the weight and provide additional support during transportation.

A word of caution

Safety is paramount when moving pianos. The sheer weight of the instrument can cause injury if not handled properly. It’s crucial to avoid attempting to move a piano without the appropriate equipment to protect both your home and the piano itself.

Your piano move guide 

In this guide, we’ll provide you with valuable tips and step-by-step instructions to prevent accidents, injuries, and regrets during your piano-moving journey. By following our advice, your cherished instrument will be ready for its new home without unnecessary stress or damage. Let’s get started on how to move a piano and make this daunting task as smooth and safe as possible.

Essential moving & packing materials 

Besides a heavy-duty dolly and moving straps, you will also need:

  1. Start with measurements

When it comes to moving a piano, one of the first and most crucial steps is to measure its size accurately. By getting the exact dimensions, you lay the foundation for a well-planned and successful moving process. So, bring out your measuring tape and take note of the piano’s height, width, and approximate depth. On average, pianos have a height of around 125cm, a width of 150cm, and a depth of about 60cm. Armed with these measurements, you’ll be ready to tackle the task with confidence and precision. 

  1. Map out a moving route

Once you have familiarised yourself with the measurements, the next step is to assess its path through doorways, staircases, and hallways. Given the piano’s substantial size, ensuring a clear and unobstructed route is key during the moving process. Begin by measuring the door frames using measuring tape to confirm that the piano will fit through comfortably. In some cases, you may need to temporarily remove doors from their hinges to create enough space.

By taking the time to map out the moving route and considering all the rooms the piano will pass through, it will help you identify potential challenges and allow you to make necessary adjustments before attempting the actual move, ensuring the safety of the instrument and those involved in the process.

  1. An unobstructed path

To facilitate a smooth and obstacle-free movement, clear the entire path of any potential obstructions, such as carpets, furniture, and appliances. It’s also handy to cover these areas with cardboard sheeting to protect the flooring.

  1. Wrapping your piano

When preparing to move a piano, the wrapping process varies depending on the type of piano you own. For upright and grand pianos, follow these steps:

  • Begin by closing the keyboard lid and locking it securely. Next, wrap the entire keyboard lid with protective material, such as bubble wrap. Use packing tape to secure the wrapping in place, ensuring that the keys are well-protected during transit.  If the cover is removable, take it off and wrap it in soft fabric for added protection.
  • Proceed to wrap the remaining parts using soft cloth, moving blankets, or large dust sheets. Take extra care to cover the corners thoroughly to help prevent potential scratches and dents.
  • Once the entire piano is enveloped in protective covering, use packing tape to secure the moving blankets firmly in place. This ensures that the wrapping stays intact throughout the transportation journey, further safeguarding your valuable instrument from any possible damage.
  1. Disassembling your grand piano 

If you’re trying to figure out how to move a grand piano, note that it requires a little more effort and muscle power. Following these steps will ensure all its delicate components are well protected:

  • Lid hinge pins: Carefully remove the lid hinge pins and unwind the screws from the plate holding them in place.
  • Lid: Once the pins and screws are removed, the lid of the piano can be easily removed. Make sure to lift it rather than sliding or rubbing it against the instrument. Handle it with care and set it aside, ensuring it’s adequately wrapped to prevent any scratches during transportation.
  • Piano legs: Move the piano onto its side and remove the leg labelled number 1. Allow the piano to rest on a thick, soft cushion. Subsequently, remove the remaining legs and pad each one separately for added protection. Make sure your moving team keeps a firm grip on the instrument while removing the legs. This way, the piano can be gently lowered to the ground.
  1. Wheeling your upright piano

Once your piano is securely covered, the next step is loading it onto the moving van. Upright pianos usually weigh around 130 kgs, and require the strength of at least 3 or 4 individuals to lift it onto a dolly. 

Secure it with moving straps and position the dolly at the centre of the piano to achieve even weight distribution. Gently push and pull it up the ramp and onto the van. To further safeguard the piano during transportation, lay moving blankets on the van’s floor before loading the instrument.

  1. The colossal grand piano needs an extra tool

Grand pianos are colossal, weighing up to a staggering 500 kgs, making them a formidable task to move. Ideally, you’ll need a minimum of 6 people to handle this weighty instrument safely. To aid in the transportation process, an essential tool comes into play – the piano board. This specially designed piece of hardwood features slots on each side, allowing you to thread moving straps through them. By securing the grand piano firmly onto the piano board and then fastening it with straps, you can ensure a stable and secure journey onto the van.

  1. Time for reassembling

When your cherished instrument arrives at its new destination, it’s time to start the process again, but in reverse. Reassemble any pieces that were disassembled during the move and take precise measurements to ensure the piano is positioned perfectly in its new space. 

As a side note: you won’t be able to play your piano immediately after moving it. Pianos typically require tuning after being transported due to the jostling and changes in temperature and humidity during the move. 

The best move is with Masons Removals

If you want to save yourself the hassle and potential risks of moving your piano, the best move you can make is to call on the professionals. At Masons Removals, we are the leading removals company in Cardiff, Newport, Bridgend, Swansea, and many more locations throughout Wales.

With our specialised equipment and expertise, we ensure a smooth, easy, and damage-free piano move.

Get your free quote now with Masons Removals

With our more than a century-old history in home and office relocation, specialising in domestic and overseas removals, we’ve earned the reputation of being the best in Wales. So, if your beloved piano needs extra care during your move, give us a call on 0800 141 3688 or drop us an email at [email protected] for your personalised free quote