How to Store a Grand Piano

By Ryan Long

Grand pianos and baby grand pianos are often beautiful pieces of craftsmanship and produce excellent sound while providing a unique decor. What they don't do, however, is store well or move from place to place easily. If you have the choice of whether or not to move a grand piano or store it it is best to leave it alone. If you must store a grand piano then it is better to find someone willing to take care of it and play it than to leave it in prolonged or unheated storage.

Storage

Rent a self-storage cubicle. The cubicle should be at least 8'x8'x6' or 5'x8'x10' to accommodate a grand piano.

Check if the storage facility is heated. Low heat is fine for the piano but too much heat is actually worse for a piano than cold.

Move the piano onto a skid and crate to move. Remove all piano legs. Move the piano in covered truck.

Prevent moisture from getting into the piano wood. Place chewing tobacco in a nylon hanging inside the piano. Dampness will cause more damage than the cold.

Store the piano on its feet. Storing the piano on its side long-term may cause actions to warp and the hammers to come out of alignment. Have a piano tuner remove the actions if the grand piano is to be stored on its side long-term.

Return the piano to its correct position after storage. Have a professional piano turner assess the piano for any damage incurred during storage and do a full tune of the piano.

Tip

Try to keep your grand piano in a warm but not overly humid environment as the wood runs a greater risk of warping and damage.

Warning

Always check with your movers if they have experience moving pianos. Pianos will often need to be put onto a skid and crated with their legs removed. This requires very careful work.

Relocating a piano will always run the risk of damaging fragile internal components. Move grand pianos sparingly and keep them in storage as little often as possible.

About the Author

Based out of Wrangell, Alaska, Ryan Long has been a professional writer and photographer since 2007. His work has appeared in the "Wrangell Sentinel," "Homer News," "Frommer's Travel Guide," "Juneau Empire," "Ketchikan Daily News" and "The Seattle Times." Long has a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Michigan State University.