The Piano Placement Dilemma:

Where on Earth Are You Supposed to Put This Thing?

Pianos can weigh upwards of 1,200 pounds. Whether you just purchased a new baby grand for your daughter to practice her scales, or you’re setting up a serious home music studio, you are overwhelmed by the prospect of finding the “perfect spot” for the instrument. Here are some factors to consider:

Relative heat and humidity.

Radiating heat from a fireplace or humidity from an air-conditioning vent may warp the instrument, damage the sound, and even cause yucky problems like mold and mildew;

Direct sunlight can be a problem.

Sunlight on the sound board can actually change your piano’s tuning. This might not be that important if you’re just practicing basic scales. But if you’re looking to practice concert-ready performances, small alterations caused by sunlight may hurt.

Aim for a level surface.

Most homes are pretty level – it would be hard to live in a living room with a 20-degree slope, for instance. But almost all floors in our homes have slight warps, woofs and other structural inconsistencies. These might be minor or irrelevant to your piano playing. Or they might have long-term, sustained impact.

Other factors include:

Whether the piano is against an exterior wall or interior wall; the floor in the room where the piano will be (whether it’s carpeted or hardwood); the room acoustics; whether the space around the piano will be ergonomically fit for you (or not); and whether the piano can be subjected to any changes in temperature, humidity, light, excessive vibration (e.g. is there a drum set nearby that your little brother will be playing constantly?).

Which of these factors matter; which can be ignored? The answer always depends on context.

If you are just getting a piano to bang out some scales and abuse while you and your high school friends practice your punk rock fusion band, then who cares if the piano gets dinged up, warped, or degraded? If, on the other hand, you want to prepare for a recital or record, then all these little factors – the humidity, the sunlight, variations in temperature, variations in the level of the piano, ergonomics, etc. – can all come into play.

Your best bet is to connect with a team that has the resources, experience and knowledge to help you maximize your piano playing. Call Pianos Plus at 510-581-1660 to explore solutions that meet your needs, budget, and aesthetic and musical preferences.