Piano on hard floor question answered

In this post I asked the question whether or not a piano will sustain long-term damage if it is put on a hard tile-on-concrete floor. Both Ulrich Sauter and Ron Overs say no.

Here is Ulrich’s reply:

There is absolutely no danger for your piano, but you have to consider two things:

1. The solid-borne sound might spread into the building structure more than with the use of cups with dampening pads. What your neighbours hear from your piano is only about 20 % airborne sound and 80 % solid-borne sound.

There is a theory around that pianos sound better if the connection between the piano and the floor is as much disconnected as possible, for example with the castors sitting on springs or on air filled cushions in order to keep most of the vibration energy in the piano and to prevent the solid-borne sound from escaping. In our experience it works to reduce the noise for the neighbours, but I doubt a remarkable improvement of sound quality.

2. Moving the piano can always have a negative impact on tuning and regulation, but not much. Simply check it, nothing serious can happen.

With my best regards from Spaichingen,

And this was Ron’s, where most of it comprised tips for quickly figuring out the acoustic damping needed in the room:

Your piano will not sustain any damage from being placed on a hard floor.

However, the tonal characteristics of the piano might be somewhat overwhelming if you place the piano directly on a hard reflective surface. But don’t worry about it until you try the piano once it is in place. If the room sounds too live, you could try placing an old bedspread under the piano to see how that helps. If this is a step in the right direction, then you could choose a suitable rug or mat to place permanently under the piano. The Sauter 220 will almost certainly have a high sound output. It is a very good design.

If the room is still too reverberant, try placing suitable wall drapes or cloth on various of the flat surfaces until you reach the acoustics that you are happy with. Once you have established the optimum area of non-reflective surface, you can choose suitable wall hangings to achieve the same acoustic result.

All the best with your wonderful new instrument.

Best regards,

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