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How to Move a Piano

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Pianos are perhaps the most difficult single item you can attempt to move. The unique combination of heavy weight, high volume, high cost, and delicate workings make it extremely difficult for a piano to be moved without it suffering costly damage. You should hire a specialty mover to take care of this challenging moving job for you. If you choose to do it yourself, or if you want to know what the movers will do, this guide will help show you how it is possible.

What type of piano are you moving?

You need to know what type of piano you are moving before you can move it. There are varying sizes and styles of pianos but you can basically put them all into two categories: upright and grand.

Upright Pianos are the smaller sized pianos that take up less floor space. You could move an upright piano by yourself (with the aid of friends) but it is a very difficult task. There are no removable legs on an upright piano. They range from roughly 300 to 700 pounds.

Grand Pianos are wide and rare in private homes because they take up so much floor space. A grand piano can be nine feet wide and weigh 1,300 pounds! The legs are removable on grand pianos, but it is something that professionals should do. The off-centre weight, size, and removable parts make it extremely likely that you will either damage yourself or your piano if you try to move it without hiring professional movers.

What you'll need

Moving any kind of piano requires a lot of materials:
  • Moving truck
  • Measuring tape
  • Packing blankets
  • Packing tape
  • Dolly
  • Dolly straps
  • Work gloves
  • Ramps for any inclines including the one onto the truck
  • Lots of helpers, at least one person per 100 pounds of piano weight


  • Measure the piano and the doorways that the piano must go through
  • Clear the area and place ramps on any incline in your path
  • Open the truck door before you start moving the piano
  • Close the keyboard lid and warp the the piano in a moving blanket
  • Secure the blanket with packing tape, but make sure you don't tape directly to the piano since that could ruin its finish


  • Using several helpers, lift the piano onto the dolly (you could use moving straps running diagonally under the piano to help lift it)
  • Lift from underneath the body of the piano, don't lift by the legs
  • Remove the piano's wheels or casters, they will probably scratch the floor or fall off if you attempt to push the piano on them
  • Consider using weight-lifting belts to avoid injury
  • Try to keep the piano upright, laying it on its side for too long can damage its inner workings
  • Once the piano is on the dolly, lock wheels and casters if you decided not to take them off
  • Strap the piano on the dolly
  • Move slowly, paying attention to the entire moving team's stamina and concerns


  • The piano should be the first thing loaded in the truck, all the way in back of the cargo area, or closest to the front of the vehicle
  • Add an extra helper on the bottom end when moving the piano up the ramp onto the truck
  • Strap the piano to the wall of the truck, keeping it level with the floor
This procedure works mostly for upright pianos, although it can be done with a grand piano if you use more people, more space, and have the ability to remove the legs.

Why you should never try a multistory piano move yourself

It may be possible to move even a grand piano without hiring movers, but if you need to take the piano up or down stairs, just hire a professional. Here's why:
  • Multistory piano moves may require the use of a crane. Do you have one?
  • Experienced piano movers know how a piano's weight is a little off-centre due to the heavier parts of the lower-toned keys.
  • Did you ever see those old cartoons where a piano falls on someone's head? That can happen if you don't know what you're doing.
  • Your staircase may not be able to support the weight of a piano and a large number of movers.
  • Staircases are especially dangerous because there is not enough room to get out of the way if the piano starts to fall. You can easily get killed.

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on September 30, 2014 - Moving Expert
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