Pianos take up quite a bit of space in your home.
If you are a bit short on space but want to have a piano in your house, you may have considered putting it in the basement.
Basements typically tend to have lots of extra space and room to create a music type room.
To know whether or not your basement is a good fit for a piano, you will need to know a bit about pianos and a bit about construction.
Let’s take a look at this commonly asked question of putting a piano in the basement.
Can You Put a Piano in the Basement?
Under certain conditions, it is perfectly acceptable to put a piano in the basement.
Basements can vary in shape, size, noise, and humidity.
It is essential to consider the conditions in your basement before putting a piano in it.
Most importantly, the humidity level is the most critical factor in making sure that your basement can keep your piano in good condition.
After all, pianos are a large investment, and the last thing you want to do is keep it in a place that will cause a rapid deterioration of your instrument.
Here are the most important factors to think about before putting a piano in your basement.
Conditions for Putting a Piano in the Basement
These are the most important things that you will need to think of before putting a piano in the basement of your home.
The humidity of your basement is going to be the most important and most challenging factor when moving a piano to the basement.
For a piano to thrive, the humidity will need to be between 45 and 55 percent.
Anything more humid than this, you could damage the piano, and you will have a hard time keeping it in tune.
For many homeowners, it is easy to manage the humidity using a dehumidifier or humidifier.
However, there are some basements that just continually present a challenge.
Regardless of how often you use the dehumidifier, you will notice that you still can’t get the humidity percentages within a suitable range for your piano.
This is something that you are going to want to test before you even start to consider moving the piano to the basement.
Another thing to watch out for is that basements tend to get damp in addition to humidity issues.
Sometimes water will be running into the basement because of the way that the water flows off of the house.
If you have a history of flooding in your basement, we strongly recommend you do not move your piano down there anytime soon.
A basement should be relatively dry if you are considering moving your piano down the stairs.
Although humidity can be dealt with, it is a much different challenge to handle leaks and water that may end up dangerously close to your piano.
If you have decided that your humidity levels are close enough to the range that you need for your piano, you may want to consider the damp chaser system, which we will discuss later in this article.
This system is built specifically for a piano and helping it to maintain the proper humidity levels.
Basements tend to be a bit noisy.
Depending on what systems your home has, there could be times when a basement is too loud to play the piano.
When playing the piano, the surrounding area needs to be quiet for the musician to hear what they are doing and to make sure the piano is in tune.
If you have a large furnace in your basement or central vacuum system, then you may find that the noise is too much to be able to play the piano.
Some homeowners have handled this situation by building a room within the basement designed specifically for music.
The room would have insulation and use materials that would help keep sound from carrying into the room.
This allows the basement systems to function normally without disturbing the person who is using the piano.
Noise is another important factor that needs to be considered before placing a piano in the basement.
Moving the piano to the basement is a bit more of a logistics issue than anything else.
Some basements have very narrow entrances and stairways.
This can make it hard to get the piano to the basement.
If your basement is one of those that has the large exterior double doors that open to the yard, you may be in luck.
You should be able to open those doors and get the piano down to the basement fairly easily.
These doors usually lead to a slightly short staircase as well.
If you don’t feel comfortable moving your piano on your own, it is worth it to hire movers who specialize in piano moving.
Getting a piano into a basement can present challenges, and you will want to ensure that you have the right people moving your piano.
Pianos tend to like consistent temperatures.
If you are putting a piano anywhere in your home, you will have to consider the temperature of the room it occupies.
Large fluctuations in heat to cold are going to cause some issues with the condition of the piano as well as the tuning of it.
Some basements are a great place to keep a piano because their temperature remains very consistent.
In hotter climates, the temperature in the basement will often stay relatively cool even in the summertime.
The basement being partially below ground will help to use some of the earth’s temperatures to keep the basement temperature regulated.
If the temperature in your basement is not regulated, you may want to consider this.
Many people who finish their basements will put in a heating and cooling system to ensure that the temperature stays regulated.
If this describes the conditions in your basement, then putting a piano in the basement will be easy to do.
What Is a Damp Chaser System for a Piano?
- Humidifier Treatment designed to reduce mineral build-up; Prolongs the life of your humidifier and pads
- Dampp-Chaser Piano Humidifier Treatment 16 oz. Bottle.
- Helps to keep the watering tube clean and clear
- Bundle also includes: 4 Humidifier Replacement Pads, 1 Black Liner, and 1 Clean Sleeve.
- Complete Instructions included for changing pads, liner, and clean sleeve.
If you have issues with humidity in your home, you may want to look at the damp chaser system for your piano.
This is a system that is built specifically for pianos, and it will help to prolong the life of your piano.
You can put a damp chaser system under the piano or behind it as well.
Essentially, while using this system, you will be able to keep the piano at the exact humidity levels that are recommended.
You will want to keep the humidifier and the pads in good condition and check on them often.
Some people skip putting a piano in the basement because it can take quite a bit more maintenance and work to keep it in good shape.
If you are still unsure as to whether the basement is the safest place for your piano, you can hire a piano tuner to come to your home to test the environment.
Most tuners will address the temperature and humidity in the room to make sure that they are at the proper levels before they start working on their tuning.
The most important thing to remember is that you won’t want to move your piano to the basement until you are sure that it is a good place for it.
Alternatives to Putting a Piano in the Basement
If you find that your basement is indeed a bad spot to keep your piano, you have a few things that you can do.
First, you can invest some money into building out a room in the basement that would be safe for the piano.
Most people will be able to make this a reality with the use of a contractor and their waterproofing and temperature regulation knowledge.
The problem with this idea is that it could be expensive.
Indeed, there is a difference between creating a room in your basement for general storage or a room for creating music.
The other issue with the room is that, even after the money is invested and the time is put in, the acoustics in the basement may never be ideal.
Another great option is to choose a high-end electric keyboard.
Of course, a keyboard will sometimes be challenging to adjust to if you are accustomed to a classical piano, but it can be done.
If you put a keyboard in the basement, you will still need to worry about sound and water, but the humidity and temperature won’t be as big of a concern.
Of course, long term humidity levels that are very high could create mold or rust damage.
It is not always difficult to keep humidity controlled, but it is challenging to keep it in a very specific range.
Another great thing about the keyboard is that it can often be portable.
If you find that the basement acoustics are not ideal, you can always move to another space in the house with your keyboard.
How Much Room Do I Need for a Piano?
Moving your piano to the basement may be a choice that you are making because of the size of your home.
However, there are some ways that you can save space when purchasing a piano.
For instance, if you happen to choose an upright piano, it is going to take up quite a bit less space than a grand piano.
Grand pianos don’t have to be all that large.
There are petit grand pianos available that are less than five feet long.
The baby grand pianos are usually between five and six feet.
At the top of the list, you would find the concert grand that is closer to nine or ten feet.
Clearly, you will also need to consider some space around the piano for proper movement and for the right sound as well.
The piano stool will take up about two or three feet of space as well.
A person needs to be able to easily get in and out of the stool when they sit down to play, so space will need to be considered for that as well.
Smaller pianos will save you a bit of money and space, and it can be nice to have the piano on the main floor to enjoy the music.
If this is something that matters to you, look for a place you could put an upright.
As you can see, pianos can be placed in basements.
It may take you a bit of extra time and money to properly get your basement set up for a piano, but it is absolutely doable.
Take time to make sure the room is completely ready for the piano prior to moving it down.
Never move a piano to the basement before testing the temperature and humidity of the room.