Can You Put a Piano in the Basement?


If you are a musician, you have probably always wanted to own a classical grand piano at home. If you decide to get one for your home, or you unexpectedly inherited an old piano from your long-lost uncle, there are some factors to consider. These factors involve the storage and maintenance of such an instrument. If you happen to have a man cave in the basement, a piano is an excellent addition whether you’re a fan of music, or not.

Putting a piano in the basement will depend on a few things. First, it will depend on the size of the piano. Second, it will depend on the size of the basement doorway and staircase. You also need to consider the safety of moving the piano and the condition of the basement itself. You do not want to damage the piano due to any water damage from a flooding basement.

ROOM CONDITION

Putting the piano in a basement does not only require the right amount of passage space. There are quite a lot of challenges and factors to consider, such as the safety of the room. Is the basement experiencing flooding? If it does, you should finish the basement with waterproof materials and a substantial drainage system.

The humidity of the room is also a factor you must consider before moving a piano in your basement. You also need to treat the room with the right ventilation to decrease moisture. The lifespan of your piano can be affected if a place is not adequately treated. Pianos are made out of wood that can are susceptible to moisture build-up. You do not want to damage an expensive instrument by improper storage.

A piano might be a unique item for display, but it is still best if it still works properly. Make sure you consider the condition of the piano itself and not just the way it will look. If you happen to have an old piano, hire experts to give it a good tune-up after moving it down to your basement. Moving down an old piano can damage the piano’s integrity because of the difficulty of relocating the instrument.

HOW TO DRY UP A BASEMENT

There are several inexpensive strategies to treat a wet basement. But first, you have to find the problem. If you have visually inspected the foundations of your basement, you may do these steps to figure out the problem:

  • Use tinfoil and duct tape to figure out where the condensation originates

If you have a raw concrete finish, you can use this step to find out if the condensation builds up from inside or outside the walls. After identifying the spot where moisture is building up, use duct tape to stick a piece of foil on the walls. After it rains, you will see condensation building upon the part of tin foil. If condensations build-up on the wall side, the problem comes from the outside of the foundation. But if it is the opposite, it is coming from the inside.

  • Solve the problem in or outside the wall foundation

If the problem is originating outside, make sure you check the downspouts. You can get extenders to make sure water is flowing away from the soil next to the foundations. If the problem is coming from the inside, make sure you check the air ducts and wrap the holes with foil tape.

  • Getting rid of the excess humidity

To help dry out your basement, you will need to eliminate all the sources of extra moisture. You can seal any leaky vents with foil tape. You can also close the basement windows during humid weather. If you are still experiencing condensation, you can get a dehumidifier to help lower the humidity that originates indoors.

  • Insulate pipes

You can purchase inexpensive insulation foam for your cold pipes. As you know, cold pipes can contribute to moisture build-up in your basement. To do this, you will need a pair of scissors. Some insulation foam comes with adhesive so you can install them quickly.

  • Insulate walls

You can also insulate the walls using insulation foam. You can buy foam insulation at different levels of thickness. You can refinish the walls with drywall, so the insulation foams are not visible.

  • Fix the cracks in the foundation

You can use hydraulic cement to patch the holes in cracks in the basement walls. Hydraulic cement can work even if the wall is damp so you can finish the job in the rainy season. After fixing the cracks, you can also waterproof the walls using a waterproof coating. Waterproof paint works more effectively on bare concrete walls.

PREVENTING FLOODS

Here are some tips on how to further prevent any floods and water leakage before or after you install the sump pump and drainage system:

  • Sump pump maintenance

Before a storm or heavy rains fall, make it a habit to check if your sump pump is working correctly or that it is plugged in. Fill the basin with water to check if it is working correctly. If it is not working, you can call the manufacturer if the warranty still covers it.

  • Properly landscape your yard

The slope of your front and back yard may be angled towards your home. The direction of the soil can contribute to the flooding in your basement. Make sure you properly landscape your lawn and backyard so that it is leveled.

  • Clean and inspect septic systems

Inspect your sewage and septic tank systems. Lack of maintenance may cause clogs and water overflow, which will later lead to puddles and leaks inside your home. Make it a habit to inspect all your water pipe systems at least once or twice a year.

  • Inspect for cracks on the foundation

Cracks in the foundation will cause water to leak in through the walls. You can visually inspect the interior and look for leaks. If you find any discoloration, it means that there must be a crack in the foundation. Fix the problems immediately before another storm comes.

  • Clean and maintain downspouts and gutters

Maintaining the cleanliness of all your gutters and downspouts will help prevent any floods in your home. Make sure that the drains are free from any debris and leaves, so it does not get clogged. You can add extensions, so water flows away from the foundation.

  • Install window well covers

Window well covers and other sealants can work well in preventing any water seepage and leaks. You may also want to inspect the walls of your basement for any signs of leaks such as discoloration. Preventing water from flooding is always better than solving the problem.  

PIANO TYPES AND SIZES

There are several types of pianos out there. To choose which one is best fits your needs, you must determine each of the classes and their functions. Grand pianos are often bulky and expensive, but the sound it can produce the most organic piano sound. Classical grand pianos also need proper maintenance so that it can uphold its tuning and volume. 

CLASSICAL GRAND PIANO

A piano, also known as an acoustic piano, is commonly used in classical music by composers like Beethoven and Mozart. The classical grand piano is bulky. So, I suggest that you ask the store where you are buying it from if it is possible to be placed in your basement. Make sure you have the exact measurements of the passageways as well as the location you are placing the delicate instrument. 

However, if an acoustic piano what you need for your man cave, make sure you provide enough space for it. If you don’t have enough space, you can still get the “Grand Piano” sound from virtual instruments and most modern keyboards. Piano players, however, prefer the feel of the weighted keys of an actual grand piano.

There are different sizes of the grand piano:

  • Petite Grand Pianos or Baby Grand – 4 feet 11 inches in height
  • Classic or Medium Grand Pianos- 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 8 inches in height
  • Full Grand Pianos- 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet 2 inches in height
  • Recital Grand Pianos- 6 feet 3 inches to 6 feet 9 inches in height
  • Semi-Concert Grand Pianos- 6 feet 10 to 9 feet in height
  • Concert Grand Pianos- 8 feet 10 inches and above

The size of the piano can affect loudness. The bigger the size of the piano means the louder and more powerful the sound it can produce. If the venue for a concert is a big coliseum that fits thousands of people, it will require the power of a concert grand piano. For a basement, you can choose to get a smaller size like a baby grand, it will be possible to move around, and it would not cost as much.

For your man cave, you can choose an upright grand piano. It is quieter and saves you some space. There are two types of acoustic pianos you can choose from, the grand piano and the upright piano. The upright piano saves more space. However, the grand piano gives a more classic vibe, just like the ones that classical artists use. Pianos need to be tuned and maintained after some time. Grand Pianos are more expensive than digital pianos.

DIGITAL GRAND PIANOS

Classical grand pianos can be costly and require a lot of maintenance. You can, however, get almost the same experience with digital grands. It has the same build and the same features, and the quality of sound is close to the original classical grand pianos.

Digital grand pianos are modern types of grand pianos. They are much smaller than acoustic grand pianos. If you are composing a pop, rock, jazz or funk song, digital pianos can get the job done. They usually have more versatility when it comes to sounds and presets suitable for different genres. The digital piano plays back high-quality recordings recorded from acoustic pianos, instead of steel strings hammered like an old-school piano.

The mechanics of a digital piano is the same as an acoustic piano. But instead of hammering strings, the digital piano is just playing back a high-quality recording of an actual acoustic piano. Digital pianos come in different sizes; some are much more portable for moving it around the house. In terms of volume, digital pianos have a volume control, unlike acoustic pianos.

Recommended Products:

YAMAHA DGX-660 88-KEY GRAND DIGITAL PIANO

(Price: $830)

This digital piano features 88 weighted keys for a grand piano feel. The Yamaha DGX-660 has an available sound module powered by the Pure CF Sound Engine that reproduces the tone of the highly acclaimed Yamaha Concert Grand Piano. (Product Dimensions: 59 x 59 x 59 inches)

Key Features:

  • 88 Keys
  • Sustain Pedal and Bench
  • Acoustic Settings
  • Grand Hammer Action

CASIO PRIVIA PX-160 DIGITAL PIANO

(Price: $649)

The Privia PX-160 is one of Casio’s best-selling digital pianos. The simple design gives the digital piano a minimalist approach. It is powered by Casio’s Acoustic and Intelligent Resonator (AiR) that provides authentic grand piano sounds played seamlessly. This digital piano’s action has an incredible feel. (Product Dimensions: 23 x 60 x 17 inches)

Key Features:

  • 88 keys
  • Casio’s famous Tri-sensor hammer action
  • Split and layer capabilities
  • Headphone jack
  • SP33 3-Pedal system
  • Furniture style bench and polishing cloth

HOW TO SAFELY MOVE A PIANO TO THE BASEMENT

Now that you have treated the room and found a piano for your man cave, you can move the piano into the basement. Considering you have decided what type of piano to get, the piano may need disassembly. If you have a grand piano, you will need to disassemble the parts very carefully. Upright pianos, on the other hand, do not require disassembly but will be a lot heavier to lift it in one piece.

  • Safety

Make sure you ask a friend for help when moving the heavy piano. It will take two to three people to lift the piano and move it down the stairs successfully.

  • Disassembly

If you do not know where to start, try disassembling the limbs of the piano first. You might break the functions if you remove the mechanical parts of the grand piano. If you take out all of the legs and the cover, it might be enough for the piano to fit in all the passageways. The best solution is to hire professional piano movers.

  • Enjoy playing

You can place a rug under the piano so it would not slip. The carpet will also help improve the sound of the piano as it will generate less reverb, especially for acoustic pianos. Once you have everything set, you can enjoy playing!

RELATED QUESTIONS

HOW TO PREVENT ANY FLOODS

Here are some tips on how to further prevent any floods and water leakage before or after you install the sump pump and drainage system:

  • Sump pump maintenance

Before a storm or heavy rains fall, make it a habit to check if your sump pump is working correctly or that it is plugged in. Fill the basin with water to check if it is working correctly. If it is not working, you can call the manufacturer if the warranty still covers it.

  • Properly landscape your yard

The slope of your front and back yard may be angled towards your home. The direction of the soil can contribute to the flooding in your basement. Make sure you properly landscape your lawn and backyard so that it is leveled.

  • Clean and inspect septic systems

Inspect your sewage and septic tank systems. Lack of maintenance may cause clogs and water overflow, which will later lead to puddles and leaks inside your home. Make it a habit to inspect all your water pipe systems at least once or twice a year.

  • Inspect for cracks on the foundation

Cracks in the foundation will cause water to leak in through the walls. You can visually inspect the interior and look for leaks. If you find any discoloration, it means that there must be a crack in the foundation. Fix the problems immediately before another storm comes.

  • Clean and maintain downspouts and gutters

Maintaining the cleanliness of all your gutters and downspouts will help prevent any floods in your home. Make sure that the drains are free from any debris and leaves, so it does not get clogged. You can add extensions, so water flows away from the foundation.

  • Install window well covers

Window well covers and other sealants can work well in preventing any water seepage and leaks. You may also want to inspect the walls of your basement for any signs of leaks such as discoloration. Preventing water from flooding is always better than solving the problem.  

TREATING A WET BASEMENT

The common causes of basement floods are heavy rain and moisture. The storm over saturates the soil. The basement walls are directly facing the water-filled ground. The water later finds its way into the basement walls through any cracks or open windows. Make sure that you inspect any cracks on the foundation before doing any further finishing in your basement.

If you cannot solve the problem of having a wet basement, moving a piano into the basement is not suggested. On second thought, do not under any circumstance consider moving the piano to an untreated basement. Your expensive piano will get damaged. However, there are several ways to treat a room and prevent water from entering the basement foundations.

Clogged gutters in your household can be another cause of water pressure. The expanding soil will create lateral pressure against the wall foundations and will cause moisture on the walls. A clear sign of moisture in a basement is the discoloration of walls and mold build-up. A quick visual inspection will be enough to find out where the water originates. If there are not any signs of any moisture, but you still experience flooding, hire a professional to help you with the problem.

If you experience floods in your home, you should be ready to clean it up. It is better to get the water leakage fixed when it is not raining so any sealant you use can dry up completely. Before hiring a professional, make sure there are no floods. Do not expect the professional contractor to clean the flooding for you. That is not part of their job description. If you need help cleaning, you can hire a cleaning service. You can purchase products that will help you with the process:

  • Green Expert Utility Pump

(Price: $55)

This pump will assist you when you experience floods in your basement. The engine has ¼ horsepower, and it is energy efficient. It can remove a maximum of 26 gallons of water in minutes. It is easy to install so you can use it right out of the box.

  • O-CEDAR MICROFIBER SPIN MOP

(Price: $30)

This easy to use spin mop will help you dry the surface right after you are done pumping the water out. It has a built-In wringer that is foot activated. You can easily replace the mop once it gets filled with dirt and grime.

  • QUICK DAM WATER ACTIVATED FLOOD BARRIER

(Price: $25)

Flood barriers can help the water from spreading further into other dry areas in your basement. You can also use this product to divert the water to one location. Use this to block any doorways to keep the water from spreading into other rooms. These barriers are 10 feet long and activated by water.

HOW TO INSTALL A DRAINAGE SYSTEM

Installing a Drainage system could be a lot of work. It may not be a fun job for someone who does not enjoy DIY work too much. It could take a whole weekend of work, or an entire week depending on your skills and time. If you are confident in your abilities with underlying masonry and carpentry, you can do this project yourself. It will save you a lot of money instead of hiring a contractor. To learn more about how to install a French drain, click here.

CONCLUSION

Moving a piano in the basement is possible. However, you will need to remember a few things such as the room condition, the size of the room and piano, and lastly, the safety of the process of moving the piano down to the basement. Make sure you meet all the requirements, and you can successfully move a piano down the basement. Whether you are a piano player or any musician, having a classical grand piano in your man cave can always lighten up the place. I hope you have a blast playing your new piano in your safe and dry basement.

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