How to describe your piano

This is the very first question any piano mover will ask you when you book your piano move. You would be surprised how many people answer: “a standard piano” or “a regular piano”. These are not very helpful answers to a piano mover and will most likely get you a bad piano moving quote. The other problem that people run into, is they use the wrong term to describe their piano.

Let’s use automobiles as an illustration here.

Do you own a sedan, hatchback, SUV, mini-van, full size van or pickup truck? Each one of these descriptions have a very different meaning in the car world, the same is true in the piano world.

What brand, model and size of vehicle also matters. Do you own a BMW, Ford, Honda, Lexus, Nissan, Toyota, etc. Do you have the base model or a decked out version? There are big differences in piano weight, strength and design between different models. It also helps the piano mover know how important things like moving insurance may be to you. If you have a small, old, no name base model piano worth less then a $1000 vs a Steinway concert grand worth over $100,000. If the piano is a known expensive piano, you want to make sure it is insured correctly. These small details will also help the piano mover gauge your risk level on more difficult moves when you are describing your piano move. People that own high end pianos do not want to take unnecessary risks, while a person with an old lower value piano would be quite willing to take the risk.


Upright Piano

Apartment size upright piano in a foyer under a staircase
Apartment size upright piano
Petrof upright piano
Studio size Upright Piano
(between 44′ – 48″ tall)
Full size upright (over 48" tall)
Full size upright
(over 48″ tall)

Grand Piano

White Baby Grand Piano (under 5'5" long)
Baby Grand Piano
(under 5’5″ long)
Kawai RX-1 Grand Piano
Grand Piano
Semi Concert Grand Piano
(6'6"-7'6" long)
Semi Concert Grand Piano (6’6″-7’6″ long)
Delivering a custom 9 foot steinway grand piano to a home in Toronto
Full concert grand piano
(over 8′ long)

How to measure your piano

Measure your upright piano

The most important measurement that any piano mover wants from you is the height of the piano. This is the measurement from the top of the piano lid to the floor. While width and depth are nice and important to have, but a good piano mover can tell a lot with just this one height measurement. Especially on tight or difficult moves.

Measure your grand piano

The most important measurement that any piano mover wants to know from you, is what is the length of your piano. This is the measurement from the keyboard of your piano to the furthest point on the (bow) curve of your piano.


Why is knowing piano brand important?

The main reasons are weight and value.

  1. Piano manufactures do not all build their pianos the same. There can be a 200 pound or more difference between two identical looking pianos. For example, a piano made in England is lighter then a piano built in North America, which lighter then a piano built in Japan, which is lighter then a piano built in Korea. Here is the twist: a Bell upright built in North America weights 50% more then say a Baldwin upright piano also built in North America. Brand helps determine weight and difficulty level of move.
  2. Piano manufactures do not all build their pianos the same. There can be a $100,000 difference between two identical looking pianos. For example, a no name Chinese knock off piano may only be worth $3000-5000, where a high end piano of the same size like a Bosendorfer, Fazoli, or Steinway could be well valued over $100,000-500,000.
  3. Piano manufactures do not all build their pianos the same. The finish on a piano can have two very different strength levels. A piano finished in China is much more likely to have a softer more fragile finish then say a piano made in Japan. This is important to know on difficult moves for determining risk of damage in a tight situation.

Did you notice the key point? Piano manufactures do not all build their pianos the same and this can be very helpful to the more experienced piano movers out there when reviewing your piano move.

We hope you found this helpful and helps you avoid misunderstandings with your movers.