Can You Put a Piano in A Manufactured Home?

Owing to the fact that your manufactured home is made up of assembled parts, you are likely to ask yourself some questions before bringing any heavy item indoors.

Also, your manufactured home lacks a foundation that would have guaranteed a stable and firm unit.

So, you’d find yourself considering an array of factors before setting up such things as a gym (you’d need a plethora of weights and treadmills in there), upstairs pantry with heavy washing machines, and even a 125-gallon aquarium if you feel like having one.

Is a piano too heavy to install in a manufactured home? It’s NO most of the time. An average mobile home is capable of supporting a full-size grand piano the size of YAMAHA 9′ model CFX anywhere upstairs or downstairs, whichever you’d prefer. And the whole process should never be an ordeal provided that the floor was designed to support great weights.

Piano Weight

The weight of a midsize piano falls in the range of 350 and 550 lbs.

Grand pianos, as massive as they tend to be, weigh between 500 lbs and 1,000 lbs.

A 1,000 lbs concert grand piano weighs almost the same as 6 average adult men.

It seems pretty much any floor in any modern mobile home can comfortably support the weight of most pianos, I can’t imagine any homeowner bringing such a monster of a device in a mobile home; maybe the 500 lbs would be a better alternative.

What About Older Homes?

Unless your home is remarkably old (made before 1978), the floor should be able to support the weight of any normal household equipment.

Modern mobile homes come with 3/4″ or sometimes 5/8″ floor decking on 2X6 floor joists.

Even the oldest mobile homes made in the early 1970s have a minimum design load of about 40 lbs/sq. ft. and a minimum of 200 lbs. concentrated load on a 1″ diameter disc (check HUD Code Sec. 3280.305).

As you can tell from the above figures, floors in most mobile homes nowadays have all it takes to support the weight of a full-size piano. Yet the strength of the floor is not everything. A plethora of other factors determine whether it is safe to install one.

Here are some of the other areas of your home you should check:

What are the conditions of the “foundation?”

The “foundation” here is the ground on which your mobile home sits. It might not be a real foundation but the condition of this part has a big influence on the kind of items you can install in your mobile home.

Typically, a mobile home would be anchored on a metal or concrete foundation. If that’s what your mobile home is seated on then there shouldn’t be any problem with bringing heavy items indoors.

However, if your home is seated on a ribbon/runner foundation which is common in old townships with old mobile homes, it wouldn’t be a good idea to bring a heavy piano in your home. Many municipalities, however, are starting to get rid of homes of this sort of floor.

There are so many types of foundations for mobile homes but experts agree that the foundation should at least be permanent if you want to bring heavy items in your home.

The condition of the chassis, outriggers, and floor joists

The strength of the mobile home’s floor is determined by the conditions of its 3 core elements: the chassis, outriggers, and joists.

Chasis

The chassis consists of beams that have been welded together according to the structure of the single wide or double wide mobile home – they are almost always made from high-quality steel.

Typically, the chassis is slightly curved to ensure even distribution of weight over the entire floor space.

If it is made from steel, properly curved, and appropriately bolted on the rest of the home’s structure, it can withstand vibrational forces as large as 55 mph without flinching!

Besides being a guarantee that your home is able to withstand a great deal of shock, it can also mean you are free to install a grand piano and even blast louder music without bothering people in other rooms.

Outriggers

Outriggers are a series of tapered edges located at the ends of each ‘side to side’ beam.

They should be strong and extend to the extreme edge of the house.

Cheap mobile homes, however, don’t have their outriggers extending to the very edge of the house. Such a set up only exposes the floor to sagging especially when undue weight is added on it.

Joists

Joists are another important element when it comes to weight consideration.

Unless your home is very old (made before 1978), the joists in the floor are very much capable of supporting the weight of any normal household equipment.

Modern mobile homes come with 3/4″ and sometimes 5/8″ floor decking on 2X6 floor joists.

Even the oldest mobile homes made in the early 1970s have a minimum design load of about 40 lbs/sq. ft. and a minimum of 200 lbs. concentrated load on a 1″ diameter disc (check HUD Code Sec. 3280.305).

This means the joists on the floors of most modern homes can comfortably support a grand piano with a weight in the region of 500 lbs.

However, if the floor underwent some radical alteration since installation – can be some major repair work or damage mitigation of some kind – you will need to consult a building engineer before bringing a grand piano indoors. A typical small size piano would bring no real problem.

How to Install a Piano in Your Manufactured Home

If you suspect that your floor might be inadequately prepared to handle the weight of the piano (or it can barely support it), there are things you can do to bring in the equipment and still avoid unwanted incidents. First off, determine the actual weight of your piano and reassess the state of the floor.

1. Locate the joists and position your piano on top

Joists are the skeleton that supports the floor. Positioning the piano in such a way that it sits on top of joists can help protect the floor from bungling under the equipment’s weight.

Start by figuring out the direction the floor joists run. Then ensure that your piano or any other accompanying heavy equipment span multiple joists.

Also, remember that the closer you position the equipment to the end of the joists the less likely the floor will cave under pressure. If your piano is considerably heavy and you make a mistake of positioning it close to the center of the joists, there will be a risk of sagging.

2. Position the piano close to the wall

Because the floor area close to the wall is nearer to the wall’s support structures, you would expect this area to be able to support huge loads than, say, the central part of the floor.

That’s exactly how things are – the edges of the floor tend to be firmer than the central section. Consider positioning the piano closer to the well without necessarily making it come into contact with the wall.

3. Buy a lightweight piano

Yes, another way of installing a piano in a manufactured home and preventing problems is avoiding the heavy grand pianos.


Rather, go for the light and average pianos that will be gentle on your floor.

The weight of an average piano lies in the range of 350 and 550 lbs. Grand pianos weigh between 500 lbs and 1,000 lbs. If your floor is flawed, you would rather buy the former.

4. Add a mat

While the vibrations produced by the piano may be too faint to cause disruption in the adjacent rooms, it would be prudent to prevent the development of weak points due to the prolonged pressure emanating from the legs of the piano.

The best thing to do would be to install a pressure mitigating mat all over the room.

GREATMATS 3X4 Foot Weight Room Flooring Interlocking Tiles can be a good start.

A simple fabric mat is enough sometimes provided it reduces the amount of pressure exerted by the legs of the piano on the wall. Most lightweight pianos don’t require a mat.

Conclusion

Unless your mobile home is very old, over 45 years, it is fully capable of supporting both medium-size and grand pianos.

However, there are few situations where installing such equipment would not be great for the safety and general usability of your home. If you did some radical changes on the floor’s structure, for example, you’d rather shelf the idea of a piano on such a floor.

Still, you need to consider an array of factors even if your home is seemingly OK for the weight.

The first factor worth considering is the condition of the chassis, outriggers, and joists.

Flawed joists and outriggers must be installed properly to support a wide range of weights. The chassis needs to be made from high-quality steel.

The “foundation” or the ground on which the home is standing should be in a great state as well.

To avoid having issues, consider positioning the piano on the joists of the floor where the support is strongest. The areas close to the wall are just as strong.

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