Piano Caster Cups - Protecting Your Floors With Style
Updated: Jun 25
When you select a piano mover in the Dallas and Ft. Worth area, it is important to choose a mover who is an expert in all areas of piano knowledge. Simply being able to lift an instrument, place it on a dolly and then get it from point A to point B is only the bare minimum of knowledge to have as a true professional piano mover. Knowing how to protect your floors after it is set in place is one of those additional little details that sets us at PianoProsDFW apart from other movers. We not only know how to protect your floors, we know how to do so with style and design in mind.
Pianos Are Heavy !
Few items in your home weigh as much as your upright or grand. The typical spinet upright will weigh approximately 350 lbs. while a tall pre-1930's upright will weigh close to 1,000 lbs. Smaller grands will weigh 450 lbs. Concert grands can weigh well over 1,000 lbs. That is a lot of weight! When you consider that weight all being concentrated into the 3 piano legs and their small metal casters, you can see the potential for floor damage over several years. How do you protect your beautiful wood floors from being dented from all that weight? How do you protect tile from being cracked from the pianos weight? How do you prevent carpet indentations that won't come out from your wall to wall carpet? Read on and we will tell you.
Wheels Can Cause Damage
Not only can the weight of a grand just sitting there cause damage to your floor, but then moving it around on those metal casters (wheels) can cause additional damage. Casters often do not turn and/or roll the way they should or the way they did when the instrument was new. They may tend to seize or lock up and trying to roll an instrument with locked casters is a quick way to leave large gouges and scratches on your wood floor.
The Solution To Your Overweight Piano
Caster Cups will solve your problem and prevent damaging a beautiful floor. As piano movers we see many solutions for floor protection being used by customers. Small rubber floor protectors that don't look that good and honestly don't offer much protection are often used. This week our moving team saw a grand with three large 12” plywood circles sitting under the casters. It worked, but didn't look very stylish. What this shows us though is that most people understand they need some type of floor protection from those heavy instruments.
Caster Cup Size
True piano caster cups come in a variety of sizes. The larger the diameter of the cup, the more surface area it covers and thus the more protection it will offer by distributing the weight. Aesthetics also is a factor however. A very small baby grand with slim legs and small casters might not look as good with large 6” diameter caster cups. Conversely, small 3” caster cups will look odd and may not even be capable of handing the weight and caster size of a 6' grand. We recommend that you choice a caster cup size that complements the size of the instrument and size of the caster.
Caster Cup Material
For the ultimate protection, we recommend caster cups made of hardwoods such as maple or oak. Be warned, there are cheap imported “wood” caster cups found online that are NOT made of maple or other true “hardwoods”. We have seen many instances of these budget caster cups splitting in two under the weight of the instruments hard metal caster. And what happens when they split open? You guessed it. They split apart and the piano falls a fraction of on inch with great force onto your beautiful floor, potentially causing damage to the floor. Quality matters and the quality of the materials used in a caster cup, really do matter.
There are also caster cups made of a hard high quality acrylic resin material called Lucite. These can be a good alternative for a more contemporary look. These caster cups are offered in black, brown, clear, and brass color.
Finally, we have hard plastic caster cups as an option. These are the most economical of all the caster cups but still offer good protection. While they may not look quite as good as the other choices, they do offer better protection and will hold up better than the cheap imported economy non-hardwood cups we mentioned earlier. If you're on a budget and still want good floor protection, go with the larger plastic caster cups. The two downsides to these cups are limited color choices and sizes. Also, the plastic caster cups due to their design will not accept felt placed on the bottom of the cup to offer additional protection between the caster cup and your floor.
Caster Cup Colors
If you have a black grand, then you are in luck as every type and size of caster cup we have mentioned is available in black. Both black high gloss and black satin are available in all sizes of the maple hardwood caster cups. Various caster cup designs from a more vintage style to a sleek contemporary style are offered to match the style of the instrument as well as your home. If your piano is a beautiful wood tone finish, there are many options for you as well. We source our caster cups from the 2 major U.S. producers of hardwood maple caster cups. Each manufacturer has their own color version / shading for both walnut and mahogany colors. This gives you the instruments owner even greater ability to color match the caster cup to your particular instrument. We also find that most customers prefer to match the caster cup to the piano rather than the color of the wood floor.
To Felt or Not to Felt
If your grand or upright is sitting on wood, tile, or concrete flooring we recommend the caster cup be felted on the bottom. These adds an additional lever of protection between the caster cup and the floor. It will also give the added advantage of being able to slide the instrument around to some degree with the caster cup marring the floor. All of our hardwood caster cups come with felt attached giving you the ultimate floor protection. Do be aware however, that plastic caster cups due to their design do not have a solid surface bottom and thus cannot accept felt very well.
It's Time to Move Your Piano
It's moving day and before you place your piano its final position within your home, it's time to make a decision about caster cups. We carry a variety of different size and colors of caster cups on our truck. Be sure and ask to see our selection of caster cups and discover what will look good with your grand or upright and offer the most protection for your floors. We will lay out the choices on the floor next to the piano leg and allow you to pick what looks best for your situation.