How to Move a Piano Across the Country (movers & DIY costs)

Moving a piano across the country can be an intimidating task. But, with the proper information and prep, it doesn’t have to be a daunting endeavor. Whether you’re moving it yourself or hiring professional movers, what is the best way to move a piano across the country?

The best way to move a piano across the country is to hire a professional piano moving company. They have the experience and equipment necessary to safely transport the instrument and can provide insurance coverage in case of any damage.

Additionally, they can provide packing materials and assistance with loading and unloading.

But not every professional moving company will have experience moving pianos. So look specifically for one that mentions piano, music, or instruments in their company name and then verify on their website that they move pianos.

From knowing what special equipment is needed to helpful tips on handling tight corners and narrow hallways, costs, piano weights, and all the shipping options, we’ll cover everything you need to know about safely transporting your family heirloom.

So let’s dive in and explore all of our options for finding the best way to move a piano cross-country.

Table of Contents:

piano move lg

Preparing to Move a Piano

When it comes to moving a piano, preparation is key. The right equipment and packing materials can make all the difference in ensuring the safe delivery of your beloved instrument to the new location.

Choosing the Right Equipment:

It’s important to have the proper tools for lifting and transporting your piano. Make sure you have heavy-duty straps or ropes to secure it during transport, as well as wood planks or a piano dolly for support and balance.

Ensure the rented moving truck has adequate capacity to accommodate both your piano and any other items you may need to move.

Wrapping the Piano:

Before loading up your piano into its new home away from home, take extra care in securing every part tightly together using straps or rope specifically designed for this purpose (avoid using bungee cords).

When handling delicate parts such as piano legs or pedals, use bubble wrap or foam padding around them first before wrapping them in blankets or towels for added protection against bumps along the journey.

Upright verticle pianos are definitely easier and cheaper to move compared to grand and baby grand pianos due to their shape, weight, and size of the instrument.

Organizing a move necessitates thoughtful organizing and examination, but with the correct materials and awareness of transfer expenses, it can be an effective task.

Hiring professional movers is an important step in ensuring your musical instrument reaches its destination safely; researching insurance coverage and working with experienced specialists are essential considerations when selecting a mover.

Key Takeaway: Prepare to move your piano with the right equipment, such as heavy-duty straps and dollies; research moving costs ahead of time; and secure all parts tightly together before loading up. Don’t forget to “tuck it in” with blankets or towels for extra protection against bumps along the way.

Hiring Professional Movers for a Piano

Finding the Right Company:

When you’re looking for a company to move your piano, it’s important to do your research.

Make sure that the company is licensed and insured, and ask about their experience with moving pianos specifically.

Look for reviews online from past customers, or ask around in your local music community for recommendations. It’s also important to get at least 3 cost estimates from different companies so you can compare prices and services before making a decision.

Also, find out if your truck will be shared or yours exclusively.

When a truck is shared with other people moving things, that often means it will take longer. But it often means the truck will be unloaded and reloaded one or more times to efficiently pack the other items.

And every time your piano is moved, the risk of damage increases.

The moving industry has a lot of terrible movers. So don’t skip the vetting process here. Check Yelp, Google reviews, the BBB, and the Department of Transportation to make sure they have consistently good reviews.

Understanding Insurance Coverage:

Most moving companies will offer some kind of insurance coverage on their moves, but it’s always best to double-check what exactly is covered in case something goes wrong during transport.

Ask if they provide additional coverage for fragile items like pianos or other musical instruments as well as any damage protection should something happen while loading or unloading the instrument at either end of its journey.

What you really want is full-replacement cost insurance.

In other words, if they damage or destroy the piano, you want to be able to get it replaced with the exact same piano at either no cost or only paying a deductible you’re aware of upfront.

If you want extra peace of mind when transporting a valuable instrument like a piano, look into working with specialists who have experience handling these delicate pieces of equipment safely and securely.

Many professional movers offer specialized services such as climate-controlled trucks designed specifically for transporting pianos over long distances without putting them at risk of damage due to extreme temperatures or humidity levels along the way.

Hiring professional movers is the safest and most efficient way to move a piano across the country. Though it may not be the safest or most expeditious option, taking on the task of relocating a piano yourself could still be an alternative to consider.

How much does it cost to ship a piano across the country?

The average cost for shipping a piano across the country is around $1,000. This cost includes packing materials, insurance, and transportation fees. But depending on the size and weight of the piano, as well as the distance it needs to travel, costs can range from $500 to $2,000.

But the moving cost of shipping a piano across the country will depend on several factors, such as the size and weight of the instrument, distance traveled, type of service chosen (ground or air), additional services requested (packing/crating), and insurance coverage. But don’t forget once in its new location, you may need to pay to tune your piano again..

Below, I give specific cost amounts based on different shipping options.

The cost of shipping a piano across the country can vary greatly depending on the size, type, and weight of the piano, long distance traveled, service chosen (ground or air), services requested (packing/crating), and insurance coverage. Obviously, a local move would be significantly cheaper.

It is best to contact a reputable moving company for an accurate estimate based on your specific needs.

And in some cases, especially if your piano isn’t a name brand and/or in particularly good shape, it might be worth it to just get rid of your piano locally. Then you can invest in a new one at your new location.

What is the best way to transport a piano?

The best way to transport a piano is by hiring professional movers who specialize in a long-distance move of large and delicate instruments.

They will have the necessary equipment, such as dollies, ramps, and straps, as well as the experience needed to ensure that your piano arrives safely at its destination.

Additionally, they can provide packing materials if you choose not to do it yourself.

When selecting a mover for this task make sure they are properly insured and experienced with transporting pianos so that you can rest assured your instrument is safe during transit.

How do professional piano movers move a piano?

Professional piano movers use a variety of techniques to safely move pianos.

These include securing the instrument with straps, using dollies and ramps to transport it up or down stairs, and wrapping the piano in blankets for extra protection during transit.

Additionally, experienced movers will often employ specialized tools such as hydraulic lifts or custom-built frames that allow them to maneuver heavy instruments around tight corners without damaging walls or floors.

With proper care and attention paid to every detail of the process, even large grand pianos or even heavier player pianos can be relocated quickly and efficiently by trained professionals.

In most cases, especially for more expensive pianos, there’s just no substitute for professional help vs doing it yourself.

How many different shipping methods are there for a piano?

Professional Piano Movers

Using a professional piano moving company is one of the most reliable and secure methods for shipping a piano.

Professional piano movers are experienced in safely transporting pianos of all sizes and shapes, and they have the necessary equipment to ensure that your instrument arrives in perfect condition.

The cost of using a professional piano moving company will depend on the size and weight of your instrument, as well as the distance it needs to travel.

But the national average cost will be somewhere around $1,000 for a standard upright piano or $2,500 for a grand piano.

Generally speaking, it is more expensive than other shipping methods, but it is worth it for the peace of mind that comes with knowing your instrument is in safe hands.

The benefits of using a professional piano moving company are numerous.

They will use specialized equipment to protect your instrument from damage during transit, such as blankets, straps, and dollies. They also have experience in dealing with difficult situations such as stairs or tight spaces. Furthermore, they can provide insurance coverage for any potential damages that may occur during transit.

The only downside to using a professional piano moving company is the cost. It can be quite expensive compared to other shipping methods, but if you value the safety and security of your instrument then it is worth every penny.

Peer-to-Peer Shipping

Peer-to-peer shipping is an increasingly popular method of shipping a piano. Think of it as Uber for moving.

This method involves connecting with other individuals who are also looking to ship a piano, and then sharing the cost of the shipment. This can be done through online platforms such as Shiply or uShip, which allow customers to post their delivery requirements and receive bids from drivers.

The cost of peer-to-peer shipping is typically much lower than traditional methods, as customers are able to split the cost of the shipment with other individuals.

Expect to pay between $700 and $1,000 depending on the size and type of your piano and the distance being moved.

This makes it an attractive option for those on a budget. Additionally, customers can often find drivers who are willing to make special accommodations for their piano, such as providing extra padding or taking extra care when loading and unloading the instrument.

However, there are some drawbacks to using peer-to-peer shipping for a piano.

For example, customers may not be able to find a driver who is willing to take on the job at short notice. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the driver will be experienced in handling delicate instruments like pianos, so there is always a risk that something could go wrong during transit.

I would not use this option for anything other than an entry-level upright piano due to the potential risks involved. But it’s a great way to keep the costs down!

Consolidated Freight Company

One of the most popular options for moving a piano is using a Consolidated Freight Company.

This type of company specializes in consolidating multiple shipments into one large shipment, which can help reduce costs and simplify the process.

Expect to pay between $900 and $2,500 depending on the size and type of your piano and the distance being moved.

The cost of using a Consolidated Freight Company to ship a piano will depend on the size and weight of the instrument, as well as the distance it needs to travel.

Generally speaking, this type of shipping is more affordable than other methods due to the consolidation of multiple shipments into one larger shipment. Additionally, Consolidated Freight Companies often offer discounts for bulk orders or long-distance shipments.

The benefits of using a Consolidated Freight Company to ship a piano include white glove service, and the piano being carried by hand instead of being lifted with a forklift.

By consolidating multiple shipments into one large shipment, customers can save money on shipping costs while still ensuring their items arrive safely and on time. Additionally, these companies often provide tracking services so customers can monitor their shipments throughout transit.

The cons of using a Consolidated Freight Company to ship a piano include potential delays due to consolidation and limited customer service options.

Since multiple shipments are consolidated into one large shipment, there is always the potential for delays due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather or traffic issues.

Additionally, since these companies specialize in bulk orders and long-distance shipments, they may not offer as much customer service support as other types of shipping companies do. And they don’t specialize in piano moving.

Moving a Piano Yourself

Calculating the weight and size of your piano is essential when you’re moving it yourself.

Use a bathroom scale to weigh each part separately, including the legs, lid, and any other detachable parts. Measure the elevation, breadth, and profundity of your piano precisely to ensure that it can fit through entryways or stairwells.

To ensure a successful move, consider sketching out the dimensions of the item and any pathways it needs to traverse.

Getting help with heavy lifting is also key when transporting a piano on your own.

A single person can’t usually manage this alone – even if they’re strong – so enlisting some friends or family members will be necessary. Make sure everyone knows their role before starting; assigning one person as the leader can help keep things organized and running smoothly during the move itself.

You might also consider renting an appliance dolly or similar device for added support while maneuvering tight corners or staircases along the way.

Utilizing wood planks for support and balance is another important step when moving a piano by yourself.

Place two pieces of wood under either side of the instrument to provide stability while transferring from one location to another; this will prevent it from tipping over, which could cause damage or worse.

You always want to keep the piano in an upright position.

Additionally, having someone stand at either end with their hands supporting each corner can further ensure safe delivery throughout your journey home.

The moving process of transporting a piano can be intimidating, but with suitable planning and vigilance, it is achievable. To ensure safe delivery of your precious cargo, take extra precautions when inspecting the new home before unloading and double-check all connections before leaving.

How much do pianos weigh?

Pianos are large and heavy instruments, and the average piano weight can vary greatly depending on the type and size of the piano.

Type of Piano Weight (average) Weight (low-end) Weight (high-end)
Upright Piano 450 lbs. 300 lbs. 500 lbs.
Baby Grand Piano 600 lbs. 500 lbs. 650 lbs.
Grand Piano 1000 lbs. 700 lbs. 1200 lbs.

The type, size, and shape will naturally affect the weight of your piano.

Upright pianos are tall and narrow in shape, while baby grand pianos are shorter in height but wider in width than upright pianos. Regular grand pianos are even wider than baby grands but not as tall as uprights.

The materials used to construct a piano also affect its weight; for example, a wooden piano will be heavier than one made from plastic or metal.

In addition to the type of piano, other factors such as age and condition can also affect its weight.

Older pianos tend to be heavier due to their construction materials and design features that have been added over time. Similarly, if a piano is in poor condition it may be heavier due to rust or other damage that has accumulated over time.

Piano weights by brand:


  • Baldwin BH-122 – 542 pounds
  • Bösendorfer 130 – 582 pounds
  • Kawai K300 – 500 pounds
  • Steinway & Sons Model 1098 – 480 pounds
  • Steinway & Sons Model K-52 – 600 pounds
  • Yamaha P22 – 490 pounds
  • Young Chang 121 – 496 pounds

Grand and Baby Grand Pianos

  • Mason & Hamlin Artist Grand Piano BB – 1,090 pounds
  • Mason & Hamlin CC – 1,399 pounds
  • Steinway & Sons Model B – 760 pounds
  • Steinway Model D Concert Grand Piano – 990 pounds
  • Steinway Model S – 540 pounds
  • Yamaha C3 Studio – 705 pounds
  • Young Chang Y185 – 671 pounds

Tips for Ensuring Safe Delivery of Your Piano

Inspecting the New Home Before Unloading:

It’s important to inspect the new place before unloading your piano.

Verify the capacity of the abode to accommodate your piano, and examine for any potential impediments such as steps, slim passageways, or cramped bends. Check to see if the floors are level and solid enough to support the weight of a piano.

If not, you may need additional materials such as wood planks or padding to ensure the safe delivery of your instrument.

When transporting a family heirloom, take extra precautions to ensure its safe journey.

Wrap the piano in protective blankets and secure it with straps for added protection during transport. Have someone on hand who knows how to properly handle antique pianos – this will help prevent any damage from occurring during transit.

Once you’ve arrived, inspect all connections prior to departing.

Verify that all fixings are tight, investigate for any indications of harm, guarantee cables are joined accurately, and check if everything is running as expected (e.g., keys, pedals). Taking these steps will help ensure the safe delivery of your precious instrument.

How to Move a Grand Piano in Less than 3 minutes


Whether you decide to hire professional movers or move it yourself, make sure that you have all of the right equipment and take utmost care when transporting your instrument.

With proper planning, preparation, and execution, you can ensure that your grand or upright piano will arrive safely at its new home with minimal damage.

After all, if it gets damaged, the cost of piano repair or restoration can be well into the tens of thousands of dollars! So depending on your situation, it might make more sense to sell your piano now and buy a new one at your new destination.

In the article, we revied best and worst practices, the overall cost to move a piano long-distance, the piano’s weight, and whether it’s a good idea to do it yourself vs using interstate piano movers or peer-to-peer services.

07-mar-23 by Paul Joseph is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a text overlay added.

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