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Jeruba's avatar

Piano, carpet, area rug, hardwood: impulsive decision--now what?

Asked by Jeruba (41921 points ) July 13th, 2009

Last night, in anticipation of having Coit in today, we managed to wiggle the (inherited) upright piano off the carpet in the living room (uninstalled 12×12 laid down on top of hardwood and essentially used as an area rug) and take a good look at it, underside and all. This resulted in a snap decision to roll it up and heave it out instead of having it cleaned.

What I’ve been wanting to do anyway, now that the kids are through spilling Cocoa Puffs in front of the TV and the incontinent cat is gone, is replace the carpet with a smaller centered area rug and expose more of the hardwood.

My questions:

— Is it all right to let the piano sit on the hardwood? Do I have to put something under it to protect the floor? I’m not expecting it to move around very much. (But of course the bench will move.)

— I love the look of these rugs (despite the odd spelling of karma) but don’t know the implications of synthetic vs. natural wool, especially on hardwood. Any advice for me?

— Is padding mandatory?
If yes, won’t there be a problem with the height difference? Will we trip over it all the time?
If no, what keeps the rug from slipping underfoot, and will whatever prevents slippage harm the hardwood?

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19 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

I have hardwood floors and a baby grand. Its legs sit on heavy duty coasters, bought at a local big box. You can glue little felt things to bottom of legs of bench. They come in sheets with sticky backing; just cut to size and stick on.

I have padding under all my oriental rugs; some big and some small. They prevent slipping and are made of thin sisal. Milo enjoys scratching his nails on the padding, but it is cheap and replaceable.

The Karma rugs are beautiful.

Some padding ideas,

Darwin's avatar

I grew up in houses with hardwood floors, pianos and oriental area rugs. The combination is lovely and I think shows good taste.

A piano can sit on hardwood. They often have, especially in the days before wall-to-wall carpeting. You might consider some sort of protective cups or coasters under the wheels, however, and felt on the bench legs.

Wool lasts longer (as in generations) but is more expensive. Neither does damage to the hardwood, but both will slide unless you put something under the carpet to prevent it. This can be a thick pad or it can be a thin sheet that simply helps the carpet stay in place.

The rugs are beautiful (and I have had some like them in the past, pre-cat) and Home Decorators Gallery has supplied some of my rugs and occasional furniture. They are a decent company, especially for the prices they charge.

basp's avatar

Use the coasters the others mentioned foe the piano. The soft self adhesive things that stick to the bottoms of the bench legs are great. I use those on all chairs, tables and other furniture in our house. You can buy stuff to put on the underneath side of the rugs to keep them from sliding around. They work great.
All of these things are relatively cheap and a good fix.

Jeruba's avatar

Ah, Fluther, you are wonderful. You are all wonderful. I lurve you. Thank you. I shall do as you say.

gailcalled's avatar

@Jeruba: And cleaning up cat or dog messes is much easier if they are thoughtful enough to choose the hardwood area.

(Yesterday, a friend showed me how much her cat enjoyed being stretched slowly. I tried it on Milo when I got home. He shot out of my arms and threw up on the floor area where there were no rugs.)

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

You might notice a change in the way the piano sounds. The carpet would have muffled some of the resonance, so the tone will be brighter and somewhat richer. If the piano is on casters, you may mar the floor when you move the instrument, depending on how heavy it is – mine is a beast – and the condition of the casters.

Jeruba's avatar

Oh, yes, @gailcalled, I do know that. Fifty years of living with cats. Managed to train one to throw up on the newspaper.

Besides, Milo knows he has to go easy on the revenge gestures for a little while after the imprisonment episode.

gailcalled's avatar

@Jeruba: Yesterday I finally scoped out the entire prison guest rooom area and found a really unattractive dried-up poop in a corner, on a 9×12 needlepoint rug that took me a year to make. I do have a liner under it, however, so I had two surfaces to clean.)

skfinkel's avatar

@Jeruba: I also love the look of hardwood floors and beautiful rugs. I would get all wool if you can. And I think you need padding under the rugs, but they make it very flat so it will not be higher, just do the job. I have some thin wool rugs, (Kehlim rugs (wrong spelling)—and the biggest problem with them is the edges tend to role up a bit (revealing the padding below).
Sounds like a good, refreshing change for your house.

janbb's avatar

Think everyone’s covered it (pun intended) already but I would just chime in with hardwood floors, rug with padding, piano with casters = lovely look. Good luck with it and enjoy!

Darwin's avatar

Just be careful if you get cherry floors – cherry changes color with light and anything laid on the floor for a period of time, such as a rug, will leave a shadow.

However, cherry does make a beautiful floor. My parents had it in their last house.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Jeruba, if it makes you feel better, the word ‘karma/kharma’ is just a transliteration of the Hindi word, so like Hebrew words, it could probably be spelled several different ways; we’re just a lot more accustomed to it being spelled a certain way. It’s still weird though, like “Adonoy”, just doesn’t seem quite right.

Jeruba's avatar

Karma is Sanskrit, not Hindi. In the case of Sanskrit, @La_chica_gomela, ka and kha are two different letters with different pronunciations. There are some spelling options when transliterating Sanskrit, but that isn’t one of them.

This is not to say that there might not be another word kharma, but the context suggests that the word intended in the present instance is in fact karma.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

nice, Jeruba. Very interesting. My mistake.

Jeruba's avatar

Took Sanskrit classes for a couple of years.

gailcalled's avatar

Philip Appleman has this to say:

O Karma, Dharma, pudding and pie,
gimme a break before I die:
grant me wisdom, will & wit,
purity, probity, pluck & grit.
Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, kind,
gimme great abs & a steel-trap mind,
and forgive, Ye Gods, some humble advice—
these little blessings would suffice
to beget an earthly paradise:
make the bad people good—
and the good people nice;
and before our world goes over the brink,
teach the believers how to think.

Darwin's avatar

@gailcalled – Nice! Now if only that would happen in reality.

Jeruba's avatar

Excellent, excellent, @gailcalled. Most apt. Maybe I can get that woven into my Karma rug.

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