What are piano caster cups and why are they important?

Posted by Sarah Czarnecki on

Pianos are heavy! Even the smallest spinets weigh hundreds of pounds and gorgeous grands are upwards of a thousand. With all this weight focused on narrow legs, flooring can become damaged. 


Whether your piano is perched on a rug, hardwood, or tile floor, the weight may be denting the surface and compromising the integrity of your flooring. Worse, if the piano is moved or bumped, the feet can scratch and gouge the surfaces.


Thankfully, shallow wood dishes called caster cups do a great job of reducing the potential damage. Making a small investment in good-quality caster cups goes a long way to protect your floors and keep your piano steady. 

 

When to use caster cups

Every homeowner knows that maintaining the flooring is vital to keeping a home looking its best. Pianos look beautiful on handsome hardwood floors, but the marks left behind by its legs are less than appealing. The weight may dent the wood, or the feet can scratch the floor every time the instrument is bumped or jostled. Pianos with wheeled feet are even more likely to scratch soft wood or stone. 


Caster cups distribute the weight of the piano, leaving less of an impression on carpets and rugs. Should you decide to move your piano, the caster cups will reduce the likelihood of finding permanent indentations on the carpeting.


Educational venues, churches, and schools have a great need to prevent pianos from being scooted around the room. Too often, people will move pianos to create floorspace, never thinking about the potential damage to the instrument or floor. It’s much harder to move a piano with caster cups under the legs, so students may think twice before attempting to drag it across the floor.


A piano situated in a wedding venue, cruise ship, or other public space likely receives plenty of bumps, jostles, and accidents. Keep the piano planted firmly in place with sturdy hardwood caster cups.


Caster cups protect both the floor and the piano from damage. Pianos are sturdy instruments, but the legs can fracture -- and a piano with broken legs is a catastrophe! Imprecise balance, twisting, kicking, or bumping into walls can easily damage piano legs. Even pianos on wheels can be broken: the wheels may lock up and an amateur may shove the piano harder instead of attempting to solve the problem, resulting in irreparable damage. 


A piano that is frequently moved or bumped is more likely to go out of tune faster than one that remains stationary. Save some time and money on tunings by keeping your piano in one place. 


Sturdy caster cups will discourage amateurs from attempting to move a piano, saving your instrument from damage.  Some caster cups have neat slots to accommodate piano wheels, preventing it from budging even an inch. Smooth cups are great for all piano legs and allow wheels to turn with ease, so no matter how your piano settles, it will have a sturdy base. 

Choosing the right caster cups


Most piano owners prefer to match the finish of the cups to the legs of the piano, but there’s no right or wrong. If you prefer the look of your piano’s slender legs perched on the hardwood floor, by all means, choose a cup to match your flooring. 


We carry a rainbow of wood tones, glossy acrylic, and even clear lucite cups for a lightweight look. If you’re a bit of a free spirit and like to accessorize at every opportunity, try our unfinished caster cups and paint them yourself. 


Whatever aesthetic you prefer, caster cups are certainly more attractive than carpet dents, wood scratches, and cracked stone. Extend the life of your flooring and help keep your piano firmly planted in place with a set of handsome caster cups.

 


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