It can sometimes be difficult to figure out what to put under a piano on hardwood floor to keep both the floor and piano safe.
Our favourite method is to use piano caster cups that are specifically designed to go under each leg of a piano to protect the hardwood floor below from scratching and scuffs.
Let’s take a deeper look into why piano caster cups are the best option, as well as a few other options and what impact a piano can actually have on a hardwood floor.
3 Things You Can Put Under Your Piano On Hardwood Flooring
We’ve listed the 3 best ways to keep a piano on hardwood floor right below to suit a range of people.
1. Piano Caster Cups
Piano caster cups are typically either circular or square and act as feet for the bottom of the piano legs. These cups have felt or other non-scratching material on the bottom which means when they are attached to a piano it will not cause scratches to the floor below.
We placed these in the top spot because they’re extremely cheap to buy and can last for a long time. They’re also really easy to use and are barely noticeable when in use.
The only downsides to piano caster cups are that you need to make sure you buy them with the right material on the bottom. Some cups come with a rubber bottom which will ultimately mark your floor, and others have bare plastic which is unlikely to last under a load of a piano.
The other downside is that caster cups can be quite slippery, in some cases, so making sure you buy one with a good grip is also crucial.
Using a rug is a great way not only to protect a hardwood floor from a piano but also other furniture such as sofas and armchairs.
Rugs are a good option because they are the most aesthetically pleasing option of all and can really compliment a piano. They’re also relatively affordable, but this can vary a lot depending on the type of rug that you choose.
The downsides to using a rug are that it will get damaged in the areas where the legs are supported, and the rug pad below may cause marks to your floor if not installed properly and with the correct material. It can be quite a costly thing to get a rug knowing that it will get damaged, but it is worth it for some people if they value how it looks over the cost.
3. Plastic Sheet
A plastic sheet may not be the most appealing way to protect a hardwood floor from a piano – we know – but hear us out.
As a short term solution, a plastic sheet is the cheapest and easiest option out of all three. You can also easily fold up a plastic sheet if you need more protection, depending on the weight of your piano.
The downside is clearly the aesthetics. A plastic sheet is never going to look amazing, but this can be reduced a little if you fold it up so that it only covers an area slightly larger than each piano leg. Again, this is only a bandaid fix and in reality, a plastic sheet should only be used in the short term while you figure out whether you want to get a rug or caster cups instead.
How Do Pianos Damage Hardwood Floors?
Now that you know what the best things are to put under a piano on a hardwood floor, it’s important to understand why they are actually needed in the first place.
Pianos are prone to damaging hardwood floors because they are so heavy. A smaller piano can weigh between 400lbs and 600lbs, with some grand pianos weighing over 1,000lbs.
With such a large amount of weight, there is a lot of force exerted onto the floor below through the piano legs. This in itself can cause damage to a hardwood floor, but the bigger issue arises when the legs move or slip on the wooden surface.
If a piano moves around they are sure to cause scratches due to their excessive weight. They can also cause indentations if they are partially lifted and then dropped, which is something else to consider.
What Flooring Is Suitable For Pianos?
Despite hardwood floors being susceptible to scratches, they are a lot more suitable for pianos than other wooden floorings such as softwood. There are also a couple of other types of flooring that are good for pianos.
Laminate flooring is designed to look the same as wooden flooring, but it’s usually made from layers of resins and other materials.
The top layer is then finished with a protective coating, and as a result, laminate flooring is quite durable and would make a good fit for a piano. A benefit of laminate flooring is that it is much more affordable than hardwood flooring.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Vinyl plank flooring is another option that is used to imitate the genuine look and feel of a hardwood floor for a fraction of the price. Vinyl plank flooring is more slip-resistant than wood and has a durable coating added to it to make it more resistant to scratches.
Vinyl plank flooring is suitable for smaller pianos weighing under 500lbs, so make sure to consider this if you are contemplating new flooring for a piano.
There are quite a few options when it comes to protecting your hardwood floor from a piano, just remember to always use one method to stop your floor from becoming scratched or damaged.