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Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59468
11/04/05 11:34 AM
11/04/05 11:34 AM
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New York
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LJC Offline
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Mama-Check your hose connections. THey will bulge particularly at the fittings before they let go. I once saw a house that had a washing machine hose burst while the owner was away. the basement filled up with water and overflowed before it was discovered.

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Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59469
11/04/05 11:45 AM
11/04/05 11:45 AM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 1,426
New York
Derick II Offline
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I moved back to my second floor (top level) condo. It was built in 1986 - so whatever the codes were back then, I doubt they were as good as they are today. In fact, I know they are not as good in many areas; electrical and plumbing.

My last piano weighed 900 lbs and never fell thru the floor. My current piano weighs 1200 or 1400 lbs (can't remember). It was still in my livingroom this morning when I left.

Either this builder is really dumb, or thinks that you are. Sorry to put it so bluntly. Forget spending any extra money.

Derick


[Edit] I should add that the 2x10 joists run 19' from one support wall to the next. The neighbor's ceiling downstairs hasn't bowed or cracked.


"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

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Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59470
11/04/05 05:35 PM
11/04/05 05:35 PM
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Posts: 18
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lambo,

Don't worry about the weight of your piano. 750 lb. is nothing. The builder is not honset, and just wants to make money on you. Here is a link I suggest you check out. It helps to understand how to calculate load.

http://www.awc.org/technical/spantables/tutorial.htm

Let me know if you have any questions.

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59471
11/04/05 05:50 PM
11/04/05 05:50 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 708
Binghamton, New York
palley Offline
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Based on the assumtion that your builder MAY know a thing or two and on the sizeable proposed cost, I would check with an architect/engineering firm and get an answer you will be comfortable with for the long haul.


Phil
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59472
11/04/05 09:56 PM
11/04/05 09:56 PM
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"It's a new house still unfinished. Plumbing was just finished this week, electrical is next, and drywall is about two weeks away."

This means that the floor has been built which would cost more to make changes. Are your floors 2 x 10 construction, I-joist or LVL?

You also said that materials are on site. Are you saying that the extra materials for the floor are on site?

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59473
11/05/05 08:16 AM
11/05/05 08:16 AM
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Posts: 2,851
New Jersey
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Stevester Offline
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New Jersey
I guess you should ask your builder or an architect if it is going to be safe to have a house party with 20 or more guests using the room. It is not unusual to have a large number of people in one room at a time on special occasions.


"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59474
11/05/05 03:53 PM
11/05/05 03:53 PM
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When you told the builder that you were going to place a heavy weight (piano) on the floor, you forced the builder to assume some liability due to today’s society. It is not just a question of will the floor support the piano or not. It probably will. To give you an example the cable that I buy for my crane is rated at about 6,000lbs working load. I could use this cable to pick up 12,000lbs and it would not break (breaking strength is a little over 25,000lbs) but I would have exceeded the design requirements of this cable and by doing so I would be responsible for any problems caused by exceeding the working load.

When you told the builder that you were going to place a grand piano in the room you forced him to respond that the floor need additional reinforcement. What else could he say the room was not designed based on this additional weight. As to the cost. You said that the house is about ready for drywall, which means that the floor is built. Maybe the guy does not want to rework the floor and he priced it accordingly. He might be irritated that you did not tell him this before he built the floor. Then again he could be a crook. Saying that I have a piano on my floor and it has not fallen through is a ridiculous argument. That is not the criteria that you build to. You have not given us enough info to fully evaluate your situation.

If I was building a house and planning on placing a grand piano on the 2nd floor I would certainly beef up the joist framing, but that is me. When I build for myself I greatly exceed the minimum building requirements. You should see the retaining wall that I built. I feel sorry for the guy that has to tear it out in the future.

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59475
11/05/05 04:18 PM
11/05/05 04:18 PM
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New Jersey
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Stevester Offline
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Very true. The builder might also be thinking "750lbs today and maybe 1400lbs in a few years, not to mention 25 people in the room singing Happy Birthday". The bottom line is we really don't know the entire story.

Good thread.


"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59476
11/05/05 05:04 PM
11/05/05 05:04 PM
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Posts: 26,695
Oakland
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People sitting in the space a piano uses can weigh as much as the piano. If you had a dance in the same space, the danger of collapse would be much, much greater, because that would be a dynamic load. If there is any danger from the weight of a piano, the room is unsafe to inhabit. It doesn't matter if you add more weight in another part of the room, because, whether a piano is there or not, you can have the same weight as the people that the room should be expected to hold.


Semipro Tech
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59477
11/05/05 05:25 PM
11/05/05 05:25 PM
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The builder may be expressing a legitimate concern of his. He just may not be aware that pianos do not regularly fall through floors. (The image is amusing, isn't is?). So even if he is wrong, he is not necessarily dishonest. Contractors are not known for their interest in grand pianos and piano playing.

This thread reminds me of an old boyfriend, who headed a fire department. The department would receive occasional calls from citizens who were concerned about cats up in trees. You know the old cliche about calling the fire dept. to bring their ladder to get the poor kitty down. Of course, the FD will not actually perform this service. My friend, when confronted with complaining citizens who expected this service, responded with, "Have you ever seen a cat skeleton in a tree?"

Mary

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59478
11/05/05 05:31 PM
11/05/05 05:31 PM
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Posts: 1,094
England
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England
As I said before, it must be down to the concentration of weight in one small area like the caster wheel on the floor. The more you spread the load the better it is. Similar to the Stiletto Heels which can make a sharp impact on wooden floors compared to a flat heel.

Alan

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59479
11/05/05 05:33 PM
11/05/05 05:33 PM
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"Contractors are not known for their interest in grand pianos and piano playing."

I am a General Contractor, but I do not do residential work. smile

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59480
11/05/05 06:05 PM
11/05/05 06:05 PM
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"Contractors are not known for their interest in grand pianos and piano playing."

I am a General Contractor, but I do not do residential work. smile

Contractors do not need to know anything about pianos to answer this problem. It does not matter if we are talking about a piano, a safe or an aquarium. We are talking about weight of a piano not the piano. If you tell a contractor that you plan on having a grand piano in the middle of a 2nd floor room and probably will entertain 20 or 30 people in that same room, I bet you would be hard pressed to find a contractor that would not recommend beefing up the floor structure even though the structure would probably support the weight with out collapsing. You obviously do not want a floor to collapse, but you also do not want a floor to deflect more than (length/360) or bounce. Have you not walked on a floor and see, hear or feel the vibrations of the floor shaking. I have felt this on many new homes that met code, but had long spans. It would be unacceptable to me. One of my other pet peeves is walking through a really nice home (in a parade of homes show) that used hollow core doors.

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59481
11/05/05 06:22 PM
11/05/05 06:22 PM
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Posts: 1,426
New York
Derick II Offline
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When I had my house built, the builder knew that I was putting a 900 lb grand piano in the living-room. He never suggested reinforcing the floor - although he made lots of other suggestions and charged big bucks for them. He also never reinforced the floor. The builder had built many houses in the past and was never sued for pianos or refrigerators or waterbeds or football player sized drag queens in high-heels falling thru the floor.

I think a builder recommending reinforcing the floor for a grand piano is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Perhaps a sign should be permanently posted outside the front door stating the maximum number of allowable people in the house at one time with the caveat to "subtract 20" from that number if a grand piano is present.

Derick


"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

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Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59482
11/05/05 06:35 PM
11/05/05 06:35 PM
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Gorgeous piano, Derick. Love the music desk.


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Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59483
11/05/05 06:36 PM
11/05/05 06:36 PM
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mjg100 Offline
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I would not be worried about the piano falling through the floor. I would be concerned with deflection, bounce and vibration.

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59484
11/05/05 06:37 PM
11/05/05 06:37 PM
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Derick, I forgot to post. Nice piano. smile

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59485
11/05/05 06:39 PM
11/05/05 06:39 PM
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mjg100 Offline
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Derick, I forgot to post. Nice piano. smile

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59486
11/05/05 06:39 PM
11/05/05 06:39 PM
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Posts: 1,426
New York
Derick II Offline
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Thank-you. I'm very happy with the look, not to mention the tone.

Derick


"People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." - Soren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

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Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59487
11/05/05 06:40 PM
11/05/05 06:40 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 340
Chicago, Illinois
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Chicago, Illinois
I would recommend that you have another discussion with the contractor, asking him to specify why he recommends reinformcement. It need not be a confrontational meeting.

I see that you are posting from the Midwest. Here in Chicago, some young people were having a party in a third-floor apartment, and a large number of them moved out to the wooden back porch, which collapsed, killing 12 people and injuring many more. My recollection is that there was also a party on the floor below, so some of those killed were crushed by the weight falling from above.

It may be that your contractor is aware of that tragedy and of the many lawsuits that resulted, and wishes to protect himself from any accusation of negligence on his part on all work that he performs.

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59488
11/05/05 06:49 PM
11/05/05 06:49 PM
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Posts: 3,269
Midwest U.S.
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Quote
Originally posted by mjg100:
...One of my other pet peeves is walking through a really nice home (in a parade of homes show) that used hollow core doors.
thumb smokin

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59489
11/05/05 07:32 PM
11/05/05 07:32 PM
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Posts: 64
Midwest
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NorthAmerican - I'm very familiar with the porch collapse that you're referring to. I think everyone in the Chicago area has heard the story. Two of the people involved were friends of friends, and I even have contacts with the building inspectors that last visited that site. It was publicized like few other domestic accidents and every builder is certainly nervous now because of it. I think you brought up a good point.

To everyone else - I've decided NOT to have the floors beefed up, but instead I'm going to ask the builder to offer, in writing, just why he's requesting and additional $3k and I want the specific calculations on which he's basing his opinions.

Common sense is prevailing in my mind and it's telling me that 700 or 800 lbs. is not a realistic concern. mjg100 has mentioned many great points about *over* building the floor, and I typically subscribe to that type of thinking, but in this specific case, with a 6'3" Baldwin, I'm not going to lose any sleep over having the *standard* floor. I'll even sing happy birthday from time to time.

A lot of great information and opinions here. Thanks to all.

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59490
11/05/05 07:39 PM
11/05/05 07:39 PM
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Posts: 64
Midwest
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lambo Offline OP
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I should have added:

Yes, the floors are finished, but they are still exposed and easily accessible. This house is part of a development of 9 homes which are being built simultaneously, so I have to assume that the extra materials are very much available.

I don't yet know the dimensions or type of wood being used for the floor, but I can say that every other element of the house to which I've put a magnifying glass has passed my tests with flying colors. They're using very good materials and their techniques appear to be sound. I've mentioned some other things (insulation, types of doors, types of windows, types of decorative woods, etc.) to a few friends that know good from bad and they've all been excited about the materials and methods this builder is using.

I can only assume that the same goes for the materials used for the flooring, which eases my conscience even more.

I think they're truly covering their butts, possible for the tragedy in Chicago mentioned above which still sits in everyone's mind here, but their FEE is questionable.

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59491
11/05/05 07:40 PM
11/05/05 07:40 PM
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Posts: 64
Midwest
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lambo Offline OP
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...

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59492
11/06/05 08:13 AM
11/06/05 08:13 AM
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New Jersey
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Please keep us posted. I am sure we would all like to hear how the contractor replies.


"The true character of a man can be determined by witnessing what he does when no one is watching".

anon
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59493
11/06/05 06:22 PM
11/06/05 06:22 PM
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Posts: 2,047
Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Hi,

I have not read this entire thread, it's too long. But your first respondant was on point. The most you would need to do is double up the joists in the particular area, and a few hundred bucks is all that should cost.

It probably isn't necessary at all. Just one of those ideas that wouldn't hurt.

Tomasino


"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59494
11/07/05 03:43 PM
11/07/05 03:43 PM
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Posts: 377
Wisconsin
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I wonder if it would matter WHERE the piano is placed in the room.

Our grand is near an outside wall, slightly cocked. The nose is 4" from each of two corner walls, with the keyboard end about 15" from the wall.

Thus ours is located near where the joists meet the supporting wall.

If the same piano were 6' from any and all walls, it seems like it would be more likely to "bow" the floor joists.


the Glyptodont
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59495
11/07/05 05:43 PM
11/07/05 05:43 PM
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Posts: 218
upstate New York
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I am having a 150+ year old farmhouse rebuilt. The process is a little more than half done (I think). When I bought my 760 lbs. CW 190, I went to my contractor and asked if the weight of the piano would be a problem. He looked at me like I had two heads, and replied that if the floor won't hold 760 pounds we're all in trouble.

It seems he had stacked ALL of the wood used for the floors, walls, and new windows in the corner where I indicated the piano would be. This wood weighed significantly more than a 6'4" grand piano. Interestingly, he made sure that the company installing the heat doesn't put any heating elements in that corner, and he convinced me to rip out my woodstove to help protect the piano.


scott
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59496
11/07/05 07:10 PM
11/07/05 07:10 PM
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Posts: 4,288
Cincinnati
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I'm gonna post a poll to solve this one. Yeesh.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Grand piano too much weight for floor? #59497
11/07/05 08:04 PM
11/07/05 08:04 PM
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Posts: 314
Audubon, PA
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Current building codes require that a residential floor can support 200 lbs (maybe 250 lbs, I can't remember exactly) per square foot. Since the footprint of a piano is probably about 20 sq ft, it would have to weight 4000 lbs before you would even start to worry about the structure.

Of slightly more concern would be the subflooring, typically 3/4" plywood or OSB (oriented strand board). A concentrated weight (like a piano caster) might cause some dimpling and maybe eventually a slight sag in the subfloor (although my guess is that is unlikely, especially if you use caster cups)...

I would not worry about it at all...

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