Ultimate Guide to Piano Moving: Size, Weight, and DIY Tips

Ultimate Guide to Piano Moving: Size, Weight, and DIY Tips

Concert grand piano

There are a wide variety of different types and styles of pianos. Naturally, these variations in weight and size may affect how you transport your piano when moving to a new home. This guide will explore the many different types of pianos, their weights, dimensions, and provide some tips on how to move your instrument. The knowledge you find here should help you get a clearer picture of the type of piano you are hoping to move, and get you one step closer to filling your new home with the music you love. Piano lessons not included.

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How much does a piano weigh?

The average upright piano weighs between 200-1,000 lbs. Generally speaking, this is just the average weight range for an upright piano. Finding the correct weight and size of your specific piano lies in understanding more about the instrument in your home.

There are three primary types of pianos: Grand, Upright, and Electric.

Grand pianos

Grand pianos are the largest piano type. Additionally, they are also called Horizontal pianos. Their strings are set horizontally to the ground. They are traditionally used for performing concerts and making music recordings. All grand pianos are about 5 feet in width. There are six major different types of Grand pianos: petite grand, baby grand, medium grand, parlor grand, ballroom grand, and concert grand.

Petite grand

Petite grand piano

Ranges from 4 ft. 5 in.- 4 ft. 10 in.

Weighs between 400-500 lbs.

This is the smallest horizontal piano available for musicians.

Baby grand

Baby grand piano

Ranges from 4 ft. 11in. – 5 ft. 11in.

Weighs between 540-1,100 lbs.

Baby grand pianos are a smaller version of the traditional type and have a smaller soundboard. These pianos are usually not as loud as the full-scale version.

Medium grand

medium grand piano

About 5 ft. 7 in in length

Weighs between 500-600 lbs.

This is the most popular household style of the Grand piano.

Parlor grand

Parlor grand piano

Ranges from 5 ft. 9 in. – 6 ft. 1 in.

Weights between 600-700 lbs.

The Parlor grand piano type is the smallest of the concert grand pianos. As a matter of fact, they are called living room grand pianos.

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Ballroom grand

Ballroom grand piano

Ranges between 6 ft. 2. in – 6 ft. 7. in.

Weighs between 900-1,000 lbs.

Also known as the  Semi-concert grand piano. They are popular in music halls, concert venues, and used by many professional musicians.

Concert grand

Concert grand piano

About 9 ft. in length

Weights between 700-1,200 lbs.

The concert grand is the largest of the grand pianos. Occasionally, they measure beyond 9 feet in length. They are often used in orchestras. Most importantly, they are regarded as having the most balanced tone.

Upright pianos

Upright pianos are the most common type of acoustic pianos. They are also often referred to as vertical pianos. This is because the strings are strung vertically to make the instrument more compact. This makes them a good option for music fans with limited space. All Vertical pianos are about 58 inches in width. There are four major types.

Upright

Upright piano

Ranges from 50-60 in.

Weighs between 480-600 lbs

Interestingly, upright pianos are usually less expensive than grand pianos, have a smaller range of tones, and contain a smaller soundboard.

Console

Colsole upright piano
508 Decorator Satin Mahogany

Ranges from 40-45 in.

Weighs between 350-450 lbs.

The Console piano is the second smallest of the upright pianos. They are often used in homes.

Spinet

Spinet upright piano.

About 38 in. in length

Weighs between 200-300 lbs.

This is the smallest type of upright piano. This piano strikes in the keys in a different way than other upright pianos. It has a drop-action, otherwise known as an indirect-blow action, with rods under the keyboard that connects each key to the action.

Studio

Studio upright piano

Ranges from 44-48 in.

Weighs between 400-500 lbs.

The Studio piano has a full-size action sitting directly on the keys, which many say gives it a sound that rivals that of the grand piano.

Electric pianos

Electric pianos are common for beginners or performers that are constantly on the move. Additionally, they are called digital pianos. These pianos are all under 59 inches in width. There are four major types.

Beginners Electric Keyboard

Beginners electric keyboard

Ranges from 51-57 in.

Weights between 20-40 lbs.

These are the lightest of the electric pianos. They are used for beginning music instruction.

Professional Digital keyboard

Professional digital keyboard

Ranges from 51-57 in.

Weights between 25-60 lbs.

This keyboard maintains all of the portable capabilities of the beginner’s electric keyboard. In addition, it provides a richer sound.

Standalone Digital Piano

Standalone digital piano

Ranges from 51-57 in.

Weights between 100-300 lbs.

Digital pianos produce sounds closer to that of a traditional acoustic piano. They often come with sound samples of different instruments. This makes them ideal for exploring more sounds on a digital scale.

Digital Grand Piano

Digital grand piano

Ranges from  51-57 in.

Weights between 150-300 lbs.

This is the heaviest of the electric pianos. Interestingly, it offers the richest sound that is closest to a traditional acoustic grand piano but still allows for portability.

Tips for moving your piano

Now that you’ve found your specific piano and have an idea of its height and weight, we can explore some tips and tricks for moving your piano to its new home.

Pianos are very heavy and fragile instruments, which can make them a bit difficult to move. Hiring a professional is a good option, as it may save you time and energy. Furthermore, it may prevent any damage from happening to your piano during a DIY move.

If you have the type of piano that makes a DIY move possible, and the muscles to back it up, here are some helpful tips.

Identify your piano

Using the sizing guide above will help you determine the style of piano you have, as well as the approximate height and weight. This may help you decide whether a DIY move is for you, or if you are going to call in some professional help.

Measure and plan

Take measurements of your piano, as well as the doorframe and any other areas that you are going to move it through. Next, plan out the path that you are going to take when moving your piano. Make sure this area is clear of any items that may be in the way during the move.

Protection for the surroundings

Place coverings on the floor, such as construction paper, cardboard, etc., and tape them down. This will protect any areas that the piano passes over during transport.

Protection for the piano

Cover the pedals and the keys of the piano in a protective wrap, such as bubble wrap. These areas of the piano are particularly sensitive. Close the lid of the piano. Then, secure the wrap over the lid with packing tape. This will keep the lid closed during the move. Next, cover all sides of the piano in moving blankets. This will provide all-over coverage for the piano, and help prevent scuffs and knicks that may happen during the move. Tape these down, as well. Be sure to add a protective wrap, moving blankets, and packing tape to your list of moving essentials.

Lifting the piano

Depending on the size of your piano, you may need 4-5 people to help you lift the piano. Pianos are fragile and strenuous to lift. For these reasons, this part of the process may be difficult. Lifting belts may be a good precautionary measure for protection. It’s important to have at least one person on each side of the piano. Next, lift the piano. Have one person slide a 4-wheel dolly underneath. Depending on the size of your piano, you may be using a hand truck. This is what will make your piano mobile. Secure the piano to the dolly using ratchet straps.

Get back to the music

Next, you can move your piano to your next destination. Utilize ramps to help load it onto the moving truck, and tie it down with more straps to ensure that it does not move during transport. After moving your piano, be sure to tune it. Typically, keys can shift during transport. As a matter of fact, waiting a month before retuning is recommended. Finally, after your piano has been retuned, you’ll be ready for your next jam session.

Piano fun facts

Italian Bartolomeo di Francesco Cristofori invented the piano in 1709. MOMA in New York has one of his first-ever pianos on display.

The harp, the metal frame of the piano, is usually made of cast iron. For this reason, pianos are particularly heavy.

Optimally, new pianos should be tuned four times a year. This allows it to adjust to its new environment and changing seasons. After the first year, pianos should be tuned twice a year.

The piano is an instrument that has over 12,000 parts, 10,000 of which are moving.

Depending on the model, the average piano has about 230 strings.

2 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to Piano Moving: Size, Weight, and DIY Tips”

  1. I agree when you said that hiring a professional is a good option, as it may save you time and energy. I got a big piano at my house and since I am shifting houses next month, I want to hire a piano moving service that can help me move my piano. Thanks for the information on piano movers and I will be looking forward to getting a good piano moving service for myself.

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