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#2306568 - 07/24/14 04:06 PM OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and...
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
...it turns out the sub-floor under my house in that area really does not like the whole idea, a lot.

The piano is in the middle of the sub-floor joist span to start with, and all three piano legs are resting on the 3/4 inch plywood sub-floor with no support for 6-7 inches in either direction.

Result? Every time either my wife or I walk past the piano to get to our office, the piano shakes noticeably.

The good news? That part of the floor can be braced both in both the X and Y direction to start, and in the Z direction to the concrete base floor.

The bad news? $1500 cry
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2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
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Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2306581 - 07/24/14 04:18 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Not bad at all.

When the floor is being reinforced, maybe your piano can walk into a bar with a Priest, a Rabbi, and an Imam.


Edited by Minnesota Marty (07/24/14 04:22 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2306582 - 07/24/14 04:19 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8565
Loc: Georgia, USA
Interesting...

Luckily, my grand pianos are located in areas with a concrete slab floor... a little more forgiving of the weight of a grand/baby grand.

When my dad built their house years ago, he put the floor joists, wall studs, ceiling joists and rafters on 12 inch centers. It was built like a tank...

I guess they don't build new houses nowadays with the idea of having the floor support a real grand piano. smile

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#2306584 - 07/24/14 04:21 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Not bad at all.

When the floor is being reinforced, maybe your piano can walk into a bar with a Priest, as Rabbi, and an Imam.

I think that joke writes itself smirk
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2306586 - 07/24/14 04:23 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Ben_NZ Online   content
Full Member

Registered: 04/16/14
Posts: 83
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
I have a wooden house from 1950, and when I settle on a new piano, I'd like to do a side-by-side comparison with the old one. I'm wondering whether it'll be safe to put them next to eachother or if both pianos will end up falling through to the basement! wink

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#2306588 - 07/24/14 04:26 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: Rickster]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Rickster
Interesting...

Luckily, my grand pianos are located in areas with a concrete slab floor... a little more forgiving of the weight of a grand/baby grand.

When my dad built their house years ago, he put the floor joists, wall studs, ceiling joists and rafters on 12 inch centers. It was built like a tank...

I guess they don't build new houses nowadays with the idea of having the floor support a real grand piano. smile

All in all my house which is only two years old is actually pretty well built. The problem is, the exact spot where the piano sits could not be worse from where the structural elements underneath are located.

My contractor told me today he has worked with a person who spent over 10 grand to completely redo his third floor townhome floor in order to support an 1100 pound grand piano.

I'm actually not all that upset and not too surprised to be honest. However, it it a consideration to anyone thinking of bringing in a heavy instrument as to where it will go, and how well the floor system will perform underneath it.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2306623 - 07/24/14 05:20 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21659
Loc: Oakland
700 pounds is 700 pounds, whether it is a piano or four 166 pound people. You can easily fit four people in the space where a grand piano will fit.
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#2306646 - 07/24/14 06:12 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
The problem is that the weight distribution of four people is very different than the effect of the weight channeled to three, very small contact locations. Also, the legs happen to be on the plywood sub-floor, rather than on the joists.
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Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2306706 - 07/24/14 08:33 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Exactly.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2306711 - 07/24/14 08:53 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21659
Loc: Oakland
The point is that if a floor cannot support 700 pound piano, it is not safe to walk on, or even more, to run or jump on.
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#2306715 - 07/24/14 09:17 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
BDB - You are confusing the floor framing, the joist support system, with the 3/4" plywood sheeting/decking placed on top. Having the plywood splinter and/or deform at a given point is hardly the same as a total collapse. It is highly unlikely that the piano is about to go crashing into the basement.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2306736 - 07/24/14 10:48 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Troy 125 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/25/13
Posts: 135
The piano should not splinter 3/4 inch plywood, cross bracing should help with the bounciness though. I assume the added pillar going under a support beam? I would have thought the cross bracing itself would have done the trick, or at least have been something to try first.

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#2306743 - 07/24/14 11:03 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Brian, has any of the work been done?

Please give us updates as the bracing is undertaken.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2306748 - 07/24/14 11:08 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Ed McMorrow, RPT Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/09/12
Posts: 2192
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
If the subfloor is 3/4" "plywood" and not "oriented strand wood", (also known a "beaver barf", thank you Rod Verhnjack), it will support a grand piano no problem. The flexing you are noticing when you walk on the floor would occur without any piano.

If the "concrete base floor" is in the crawl space-installing a post with proper earthquake ties and moisture barrier under a joist at the center of the floor would stiffen things up greatly. This should cost less than $500 for a handyman who understands moisture and earthquake issues. If you need a beam under the joists-that will cost much more.
_________________________
In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible

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#2306848 - 07/25/14 08:18 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
Brian, has any of the work been done?

Please give us updates as the bracing is undertaken.

Not yet. My contractor said two weeks before it can be done.

I'll try to get down there myself when the work is done with my camera.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2306857 - 07/25/14 08:45 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Michael Sayers Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/15/13
Posts: 1158
Loc: Stockholms lńn, Sverige
It is wouldn't be very aesthetic but as a temporary solution a two-by-four under each leg would distribute the load over a larger area of the floor and maybe if the boards are long enough and angled perpendicular (90 degrees) to the direction of the vibration it would be reduced.

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#2306859 - 07/25/14 08:50 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: Minnesota Marty]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2610
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted By: Minnesota Marty
The problem is that the weight distribution of four people is very different than the effect of the weight channeled to three, very small contact locations. Also, the legs happen to be on the plywood sub-floor, rather than on the joists.


Now you've got me thinking about a pair of very large ballet dancers performing a lift...
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A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#2306868 - 07/25/14 09:09 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7439
Loc: Rochester MN
Ah yes - L'Únorme Ballet! Didn't I see them in Fantasia?
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2306872 - 07/25/14 09:22 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
PhilipInChina Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 1045
Loc: China
We sometimes get a similar problem with snooker tables, which are a good deal heavier than even the heaviest grand piano.

I am pleased with my music room. The original floor is on huge oak beams. The boards are not good so I covered those with pine tongued and grooved boards 25mm thick. The piano hadn't fallen into the basement last time I looked.
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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#2306876 - 07/25/14 09:26 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: PhilipInChina]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
The good news is that this problem is more of an annoyance than anything else right now. Whenever someone is playing the other (usually me) tip-toes around to my office.

Other than being a pain in the you-know-what, I'm concerned that this extra vibration will not help the stability of my C2X when it comes to staying in tune. Now I could be completely wrong about this...
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2306928 - 07/25/14 10:51 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21659
Loc: Oakland
If the problem were point loads, tip-toeing would be the wrong thing to do. You should walk as flat-footed as possible. Better yet, just stand still!
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2312533 - 08/07/14 04:32 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BDB]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Update: A carpenter spent 4 hours today installing the 2 by 10 blocking between the floor joists where the Piano legs sit on the floor. The blocking was then cross-braced between the three joists.

Next week a double 2 by 12 beam will be installed across the middle of the room with a steel post to the concrete base.

Pics will follow when the whole thing is done...
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2312563 - 08/07/14 05:41 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
Oongawa Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/14/12
Posts: 263
My first house was a wood house, up off the ground. Built in the forties. I didn't have a piano at the time, but I did have a six foot long marble pedestal table. The pedestal was about 15x24 or so.

I was worried about it, but the table actually made things more stable. Previously, things would rattle when I walked around but after I brought it in, all that stopped. It was still more rattle-ish than a slab, but not by much.
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#2313022 - 08/08/14 03:05 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1441
Loc: Reseda, California
Is this over a crawl space or a full basement?
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2313111 - 08/08/14 06:13 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: JohnSprung]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Fully insulated 5 foot high crawlspace.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2313215 - 08/08/14 10:41 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
PaintedPostDave Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/09/10
Posts: 550
Loc: Upstate New York
"Fully insulated 5 foot high crawlspace." That is good news. It means you can probably support the joists nicely with the 2x12s. How many feet do the joists span? And what is the dimension in the other direction perpendicular to the joists? Finally, are the joists 2x8 or 2x10's.

The joists in my 110 year old house are 2x8's and span 16 ft (the 2x8s are actually 2 inches thick). When I moved in I did not notice much give in the floor but I hate to feel the floor move in any way when I walk across it so I effectively halved the span by adding my own beams.

I built up beams from three 2x4s side by side. I glued them and also bolted them together to make a solid 4 1/2 (w) by 3 1/2 (h) beam that was 8 ft long. I supported each beam by two metal cellar posts from Home Depot. I put the beams under (and perpendicular to) the joists throughout the basement. My only costs were the 2x4s and the cellar posts.

This was way before I bought the Knabe grand. The addition of the piano had no noticeable effect. I also put steel plates under the piano feet so as to distribute the force over a larger area and decrease the localized floor pressure (floor pressure is pounds force per square foot).

So, it sounds like your addition of the 2x12s will effectively cut the span in half and solve the problem. Good luck. smile
_________________________
Dave Koenig
Yamaha M1A console
1927 Knabe 7' 8" grand
https://sites.google.com/site/analysisofsoundsandvibrations/

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#2313265 - 08/09/14 03:12 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: PaintedPostDave]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1441
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
"...so I effectively halved the span by adding my own beams.


Half the span means a quarter of the deflection -- or even better in this case, as you're making the joists into continuous beams. Adding a girder and some piers and posts should do the trick for the OP.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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#2313324 - 08/09/14 08:20 AM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: JohnSprung]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Originally Posted By: JohnSprung
Originally Posted By: PaintedPostDave
"...so I effectively halved the span by adding my own beams.


Half the span means a quarter of the deflection -- or even better in this case, as you're making the joists into continuous beams. Adding a girder and some piers and posts should do the trick for the OP.

A quarter of the deflection would be just fine. smile

I noticed last night that even though only a part of the support system is in place, the floor movement is already down by a third in my estimation. The entire 25 square foot floor system directly under the piano is now one continuous support structure.

Once the vertical support is added we should be in great shape.
_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2318739 - 08/22/14 09:47 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
BrianDX Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/14/14
Posts: 764
Loc: Lewes DE
Final supports were put into place today. Most of the vibrations are gone. Very happy with the results.

Pics of the final supports below:



_________________________
Groucho Marx: "Now we're getting somewhere"
2013 Yamaha C2X | 2001 Yamaha M500-F .
Current: Schein - Allemande | Faber - Lunar Eclipse, Scarborough Fair
Upcoming: Faber - Funiculý, FuniculÓ

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#2318742 - 08/22/14 09:52 PM Re: OK so a 700 pound grand piano walks into my house and... [Re: BrianDX]
PhilipInChina Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 1045
Loc: China
You have improved the spec. of your house by doing all that.
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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