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Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? #2749941
07/07/18 07:41 AM
07/07/18 07:41 AM
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willpianist Offline OP
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I finally bought a house and now one step closer to getting a grand piano - the dream of my life. And wife's permission is sorted.

The place is a two level Italian home. The land slopes so at the back of the building it is level with the backyard. I knew access for a grand piano owing a very narrow and turning staircases to level one (living area) is a problem for access, but I still proceed to buy the place as the price is right.

So if the piano can't go to level one because of the stupid stairs, there are two options:

1. At the game room in the basement level. However the ground has a small slope (matching that of natural ground level). Also worried about humidity.

2. Put it in the garage.

I know both of them sounds terrible but I am determined to get a grand piano no matter what. If the piano will get destroyed after a few years I would get a cheaper used one. I am wondering if anyone has experience building a timber deck/platform on a slightly sloped ground for a piano? I am a bit worried that the friction between the floor and timber is not enough to hold the piano in place! Any thoughts?

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Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2749948
07/07/18 08:37 AM
07/07/18 08:37 AM
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If the movers confirm your judgement about the stairs (and it would be a mistake to stick it in the basement based on a mistaken assumption), then the basement seems your only option. You're right to be concerned about humidity - get yourself a highly-rated dehumidifier and a hygrometer. As to the slope, unless it's steep enough to make it look really weird, then caster cups and an adjustable bench ought to work.

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2749961
07/07/18 09:46 AM
07/07/18 09:46 AM
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Georgia, USA
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I remember back when I decided I wanted a baby-grand piano/any grand piano. I really didn't have room in my smallish 1600 square foot home. However, I had a very nice attached car-port that was 20'X20' with 10' ceilings. All I needed to do to enclose the car-port was construct three 10'X20' walls, which I did.

It turned out to be a fantastic music room, plus it added 400 additional square feet of conditioned living space to my home. That said, the concrete floor of the enclosed car-port slopes about 2" or 3" front to back, which I did not try to correct. Although the concrete floor is not 100% level, it does not make much of a difference at all in regards to my two grand pianos that are currently housed there.

Also, I have another area I built on to my detached garage that I call my piano shop. The concrete floor is very level, and the walls and ceiling insulated. It is 10'X20' with a slopping ceiling that is 8' on one end and 10' on the other. It is not heated or air conditioned, but I run a small, one-room dehumidifier 24/7/360. I have one of my grand pianos in that room along with my digital piano and sound equipment. The dehumidifier does a fantastic job of maintaining an adequate level of relative humidity year round, although I get tired of emptying the water bucket; and, the piano holds a tuning like a rock.

I think you would be fine putting the grand piano in the basement, along with a dehumidifier to keep the RH from getting too high. I don't think the slope or levelness of the floor will be problem, depending on the extent of the slope.

Good luck!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2749973
07/07/18 10:23 AM
07/07/18 10:23 AM
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willpianist Offline OP
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Thanks everybody. I am still waiting for settlement so I will not be able to access the place for another 2 months.

The floor in the basement definitely has a noticeable slope. As I will be getting the piano movers to come have a look to assess the situation, do you think they will be able to advise on whether the floor is too sloped for a grand piano?

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Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2749974
07/07/18 10:32 AM
07/07/18 10:32 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by willpianist
The floor in the basement definitely has a noticeable slope. As I will be getting the piano movers to come have a look to assess the situation, do you think they will be able to advise on whether the floor is too sloped for a grand piano?

If you really want to put the piano in the basement, and you/piano movers think it has too much slope, you could always construct a wood platform large enough to place the piano on. You could cover it with carpet or whatever. That shouldn't cost that much.

My mantra is "where there is a willpianist there is a way". smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2749981
07/07/18 11:06 AM
07/07/18 11:06 AM
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Victoria, BC
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Surely if the slope is considerable it will affect the efficiency of the action of the piano. It seems to me to be necessary to build some kind of level platform on which to place the piano.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2749988
07/07/18 11:23 AM
07/07/18 11:23 AM
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Thanks Rick and Bruce. A timber level deck/platform is what I am thinking too. I am also thinking to stop the platform from sliding down, I probably need to get at least two stoppers that are bolted down on the floor?

If I were to get the Kawai GX2 (1.8m), what size of a platform do I need? Considering the space I need for the bench and tech working on the piano/action.

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2749997
07/07/18 11:43 AM
07/07/18 11:43 AM
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Victoria, BC
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I would think you would need at least 80cm. (32 inches) from the end of the keyboard to the back legs of the bench for playing. If you could extend that to a full meter that should accommodate removing the action. That is minimal; you don't want the tail leg to be sitting right on the edge of the platform; nor do you want the bench to be sitting on the other extreme edge of the platform.

For the Kawai GX2 my guess is that you would need a total of nearly 10 feet (3 meters) of platform length, but that's generous; you may get away with less.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: BruceD] #2750023
07/07/18 01:12 PM
07/07/18 01:12 PM
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Better to be generous since you don't want a piano technician accidentally falling off the thing when he misjudged it with a grand action in his hands. Not pretty.

Plus, you may get a bigger piano sometime and you wouldnt want to have to redo the whole thing now would you?

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
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Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750037
07/07/18 02:19 PM
07/07/18 02:19 PM
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Melbourne, Australia
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Originally Posted by willpianist
Thanks Rick and Bruce. A timber level deck/platform is what I am thinking too. I am also thinking to stop the platform from sliding down, I probably need to get at least two stoppers that are bolted down on the floor?

If I were to get the Kawai GX2 (1.8m), what size of a platform do I need? Considering the space I need for the bench and tech working on the piano/action.


First you should accurately measure the drop of your floor. Set up a string line and get a very good spirit level. Try to objectively determine how far the floor falls over the full width of your room. I understand your nervousness, but it's possible you are exaggerating it and you don't need to build anything. If you do need to build something, you need this information to plan your build anyway. If the drop is not that big, you might be able to get by with modifying some caster cups to account for the drop. Anyway, let us know what the actual measurement is.

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750051
07/07/18 04:04 PM
07/07/18 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ando
First you should accurately measure the drop of your floor. Set up a string line and get a very good spirit level. Try to objectively determine how far the floor falls over the full width of your room. I understand your nervousness, but it's possible you are exaggerating it and you don't need to build anything. If you do need to build something, you need this information to plan your build anyway. If the drop is not that big, you might be able to get by with modifying some caster cups to account for the drop. Anyway, let us know what the actual measurement is.


Ando is right... you may not need to do anything, depending on the degree of slope. Like I said, my enclosed car-port/music room slopes about 3" in 20'. My grand pianos are not 100% level, but not by much; in fact, it is so minor, it's not worth trying to level them, in my view.

Here is a pic of my music room. The slight downward slope (front to back) of the concrete floor, covered with an industrial grade carpet, doesn't bother me one bit.

Good luck!

[Linked Image]


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: Rickster] #2750064
07/07/18 05:19 PM
07/07/18 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by ando
First you should accurately measure the drop of your floor. Set up a string line and get a very good spirit level. Try to objectively determine how far the floor falls over the full width of your room. I understand your nervousness, but it's possible you are exaggerating it and you don't need to build anything. If you do need to build something, you need this information to plan your build anyway. If the drop is not that big, you might be able to get by with modifying some caster cups to account for the drop. Anyway, let us know what the actual measurement is.


Ando is right... you may not need to do anything, depending on the degree of slope. Like I said, my enclosed car-port/music room slopes about 3" in 20'. My grand pianos are not 100% level, but not by much; in fact, it is so minor, it's not worth trying to level them, in my view.

Here is a pic of my music room. The slight downward slope (front to back) of the concrete floor, covered with an industrial grade carpet, doesn't bother me one bit.

Good luck!

[Linked Image]


I really like how you set up your music room! thumb

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750092
07/07/18 07:12 PM
07/07/18 07:12 PM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
I really like how you set up your music room! thumb


Thanks, NobleHouse!

With such nice pianos, you'd think I'd be able to actually play a piano. I'm still working on that part. smile

Not to detract from willpianist's thread, but here is a pic of my piano shop. The concrete floor there is completely level, so no tilting while playing. grin

[Linked Image]


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750103
07/07/18 08:24 PM
07/07/18 08:24 PM
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Wisconsin, USA
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Since the floor is sloped it sounds like an old house. Are you sure the floor can hold the weight of the piano?

Best wishes to you at this very exciting time!

Steve


Bösendorfer 170
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750150
07/08/18 02:24 AM
07/08/18 02:24 AM
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Or you could bite the bullet and simply level the floor with a cement screed. It isn't a big job and you could take the oppportunity to add a damp proof membrane.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750196
07/08/18 09:32 AM
07/08/18 09:32 AM
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Thanks everybody! I will take a measure of slope of the basement when I get the keys and report back!

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750198
07/08/18 09:48 AM
07/08/18 09:48 AM
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Maybe the movers can remove a window on the fist floor. You really need to speak to piano movers to get an idea of what they will be capable of. . .

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750603
07/10/18 02:06 PM
07/10/18 02:06 PM
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Multiple choices, it is hard to say which is best.

To add to the options, consider putting a door on the first floor (wide and tall enough to get a piano through), and building a small deck out side of the door ( with stairs or ramp to help move the piano in).

This might not be much more expense (or nuisance) than rebuilding the basement floor, and might add to the overall convenience of the house and add space to your living quarters.

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2750640
07/10/18 05:43 PM
07/10/18 05:43 PM
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This sounds like a lot of extra work to put the piano where you don't really want it to be, in the basement. Do you have large enough windows on the first floor? If so, find a contractor who has a telehandler. Have them pull a window and move the piano in thru it. Less work, less expense, better result.

If you don't have adequate window access, this building is going to be a problem for everything you move, furniture and appliances, not just the piano. Consider remodeling a little to create good access.

Here's the biggest maker of telehandlers:

https://www.jlg.com/en/equipment/telehandlers/jlg?Cookie=language


-- J.S.



-- J.S.

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Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: Rickster] #2750884
07/11/18 11:51 PM
07/11/18 11:51 PM
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Nashville, TN
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Hey Rickster, that must be your Howard/Baldwin/Kawai 550 in your piano shop. It looks exactly like the Kawai 500 I used to have.

Last edited by Pianolance; 07/11/18 11:55 PM.

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Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2751183
07/13/18 08:32 AM
07/13/18 08:32 AM
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Georgia, USA
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Originally Posted by Pianolance
Hey Rickster, that must be your Howard/Baldwin/Kawai 550 in your piano shop. It looks exactly like the Kawai 500 I used to have.

Yes, it is, Pianolance. And, a very nice piano too. I have given it to my 14 year old granddaughter, who was taking piano lessons but lost interest, because the piano teacher scolded her for attempting to learn anything by-ear like her granddaddy. But my son still wants the piano wherever he can find room for it in his house. If nothing else, my granddaughter can sell the piano one day and buy something else she wants.

Surprisingly, that piano holds a tuning like a rock with the dehumidifier in that room. I haven't tuned it in two years, and the tuning is surprisingly right on target. I'm a firm believer that if you control the RH in the room where your piano is locate, you can control the tuning stability to a great extent.

Now, to get back on topic, I don't see where the floor being slightly unlevel would affect the tuning of an acoustic piano adversely, depending on the degree of slope... smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: Rickster] #2751202
07/13/18 11:02 AM
07/13/18 11:02 AM
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Urbandale, Iowa
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Originally Posted by Rickster
I have given it to my 14 year old granddaughter, who was taking piano lessons but lost interest, because the piano teacher scolded her for attempting to learn anything by-ear like her granddaddy.

I find this soooo sad! This piano teacher doesn't want a student developing her ear, probably because she might learn some pop music. That's going to happen sooner or later. I'm curious, what discussions were had with this teacher? Also, why not encourage her to take lessons from a more supportive teacher? By any chance, did you post about this experience in the teachers forum?

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2751235
07/13/18 02:12 PM
07/13/18 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Chandler
I find this soooo sad! This piano teacher doesn't want a student developing her ear, probably because she might learn some pop music. That's going to happen sooner or later. I'm curious, what discussions were had with this teacher? Also, why not encourage her to take lessons from a more supportive teacher? By any chance, did you post about this experience in the teachers forum?


Hi Steve,

I know this topic is getting a bit OT, but still piano related. But to answer your question, no, I do not know all the details of the conversations between my son, granddaughter and her former piano teacher. All I know is that my son told me that Grace stopped taking piano lessons because her piano teacher scolded her for attempting to learn anything by ear.

Also, I have not posted this in the piano teacher's forum, because I knew it would be controversial. At my age, I try to avoid controversy as much as possible, and, I'm more irritable and more inclined to argue than I used to be; another reason to avoid controversy. smile

But thanks for your interest and your concern. Since my son is a very good amateur musician (better than I will ever be) I feel like my granddaughter will pursue studying piano again at some point. She is as smart as a whip, and says she wants to be a medical doctor as a career. If so, music and medicine go hand-in-hand. smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2760030
08/21/18 06:43 AM
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Hi everyone, just want to report back. After many nervous days, today the piano movers came and and did a site inspection. The gentleman was very confident that the piano (up to 2m) can get in through the back way.

He didn't really do any measurement (?) while walking the proposed delivery route. He said it's tight but do-able. I suppose because he moves so many piano a day I would have to trust him.

Now back to shopping mode!

Thanks everyone for your advice!

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2760215
08/22/18 12:45 AM
08/22/18 12:45 AM
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Experts do such things by eye. The ability is amazing.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2760820
08/24/18 11:00 PM
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laugh

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: Zaphod] #2761013
08/25/18 09:38 PM
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Haha, thanks for sharing this video . No caster cups will so stop the piano from rolling around. In reality the piano would slam into a wall pretty soon.

I guess pianos on ships are permanently fixed to the floor deck?

Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2761055
08/26/18 03:00 AM
08/26/18 03:00 AM
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If you got caster cups turned out of a bit of hardwood you could get them made of different thicknesses to level the piano.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Grand piano on a slightly sloping floor? [Re: willpianist] #2761200
08/26/18 07:34 PM
08/26/18 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by willpianist
I guess pianos on ships are permanently fixed to the floor deck?


Indeed they are.


-- J.S.

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