How to Protect my Piano From Damage When Moving

Your piano is probably one of your most prized possessions.  If you are moving houses, taking your piano can be nerve-wracking.  The last thing you need is for your piano to get damaged during the move.  So, how do you make sure the piano stays safe?

To protect a piano from damage when moving, you will need several people to help you, whether friends or hired help. You will also need tools such as a dolly, straps, and blankets to ensure the piano stays safe.

When moving a piano, it is recommended that you hire professional movers to do the job.  But, since that is not a viable option for everyone, you can do it on your own.  Just make sure that you carefully follow the steps below in order to keep your piano safe.

Moving a Piano Safely

Since pianos are so large and the way they work is so complex, there is a lot you will need to in order to make sure that the piano is safe during the movie.

Get Help from Family or Friends if You Can’t Hire the Professionals

Pianos are very heavy.  Upright pianos weigh between 200 and 1000 pounds depending on the model.  Baby grand pianos can weigh around 500-600 lbs.  Professional grands weigh about 700 lbs. and concert grands weigh up to 1,200lbs.

Even with the lightest piano, you will need about four people to move it safely. This linked article from Moversville has a chart to help you get an approximate guess of your piano’s weight to guestimate how many helpers you will need.

Pianos also have an awkward shape to them, often adding one or two more people to help with the weird shape.

Make Sure it Fits Both Out and In

The best way to do this is to measure the piano and space that you plan to move the piano though.  That way, you can plan out your “route” and make sure you are not taking the piano through an area that is too tight.

This will make it easier on the movers and help to make sure the piano does not get scratches or dings from hitting or scraping against a wall.

You also need to make sure that the moving truck you get will accommodate the size of your piano.

Buy the Supplies For Protecting Your Piano and Walls

You will need the following to ensure a safe move for your piano:

You can find most of these items at Home Depot or from Amazon (linked above) if you don’t mind waiting a few days.

Preparing the Piano for Movement

The next step is prepping the piano to be moved out of the house and into the moving truck.  Although most of the steps will stay the same, there will be some difference in how you would move an upright piano as opposed to a grand piano.

Here is a quick summary of how to prepare a piano to be moved out of your home.

  1. First, cover the piano’s keys with a moving blanket, and close the keyboard lid over the blanket.  If you have a grand piano, drape the blanket over the internal parts and close the lid over the blanket.
  2. They also recommend covering the piano in shrink wrap to protect the finish, although not everyone would recommend this.
  3. Blankets should then be wrapped around the piano and secured with straps.
  4. If you have a grand piano, you will need to remove the left front leg before you move it.

That wraps up preparing the piano to be moved!  Only one more step to go.

Moving the Piano from the House to the Truck

Now it is time to move the piano from the house to the truck.

  • Move the piano onto a piano dolly.  If you have a grand piano, you will also need to use a grand board.
  • If you have a grand piano, you will need to leverage the piano onto the grand board, laying it on its side.  After you do this, you remove the rest of the legs and pedals (which you need to also wrap).
  • (Side Note: If you have stairs you need to get navigate, use a stair ramp to help move the piano up or down them easily).
  • You then move the piano out to the truck. To get it into the truck, you should have a lift to help you get it up to the cargo bed. A ramp works too, just make sure the people moving it are strong enough to push it up the ramp.
  • Once in the truck, remove the dolly.  But always keep it elevated off the ground using the grand board, or some other kind of solid, even surface.
  • Strap the piano to the wall.
  • When you get to your new location, follow these steps in reverse to unload the piano.

I highly recommend checking out the video linked above that these instructions go along with.  Being able to see the steps in action will make the job a lot easier.

For those of you that have an upright piano, here is a video showing how to move your instrument.

Hiring Professional Movers for Your Piano

If you can afford professional movers, then it is highly recommended that you do so, especially when it comes to moving an intricate piece like a piano.  There are even some companies that specialize in moving pianos. Usually, the movers are insured in the small chance they do damage your prized piano.

Professional piano movers are specially trained on how to carefully prepare pianos for a move, move them, and unload them.  You won’t have to worry about missing a step and ruining your instrument.  This is a huge stress reliever for many.

The price of the move will vary based on factors such as location, piano type, etc.  For example, according to the average cost in NYC is $445.  But, the average cost in Greenville, North Carolina is $688.

If it fits your budget, consider hiring professional piano movers, or just movers in general.  There will be a lot less work and worry on your end because of it.

Tuning Your Piano After the Move

After moving the piano, especially if you moved it over a long distance, you may need to get it tuned so that it can sound as good as possible.

Surprisingly, the move and jostling of the piano are not what causes it to go out of tune.  Instead, the humidity changes the shape of the soundboard.  This results in string tension which can cause the piano to go out of tune.

After your piano is moved, wait a few weeks to have it tuned.  That way, you can allow it to acclimate to its new environment and avoid needing to tune it twice.

In Conclusion

You can move your piano without movers if that is your best option.  Just make sure that you get friends to help you.  Also, ensure that the piano is wrapped correctly, moved safely to the truck, and securely strapped in.

But, if you can afford to have movers (especially piano movers) handle the piano, then it is well worth the money.  Their professional know-how will help to ensure your piano is kept safe. Also, do not forget to have it tuned a few weeks after the move so that it can sound as beautiful as possible.

Click here for related articles on taking care of your piano.

Looking for supplies? We got you covered.


Josh Olswanger

I've been playing and writing music since the age of 13. My father is a piano tuner/technician of 40 years, and I've been musically involved in all aspects from composing, to recording, producing and playing live for most of my life. I've always had a fascination and appreciation for all types of music and musical instruments, so creating this site is a perfect outlet to share my knowledge.

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