Piano Restoration, Rebuilding and Reconditioning: Know What You Are Getting

Piano Restoration, Rebuilding and Reconditioning: Know What You Are Getting

Maybe your piano hasn’t been serviced in years. Maybe you’ve inherited your piano from a friend and you simply don’t know what condition its in. Is it worth saving? Is it worth investing the time and money necessary to bring it back to good working condition?

Piano Restoration, Rebuilding and Reconditioning: Know What You Are GettingIn the piano restoration world, the term “restoration” means a lot of things to different people. And just like every industry, “reputable” isn’t always in a persons vocabulary either, even though they are promoting themselves as a piano servicing company.

The best way to get what you paid for is to learn what you can before you hire someone, and ask as many questions along the way to ensure you piano received the treatment it needs.


The term reconditioning when it comes to a piano means improving what is already there. A piano that has moderate wear or one in the medium price range can almost always benefit from a reconditioning.

With a reconditioning, the piano is cleaned, repaired, and adjusted for best performance, and will only have parts replaced when absolutely necessary. It is not designed to improve the life span of an older piano, and will not improve overall sound quality above what the piano was capable of in the first place.


With a piano rebuild, the piano will be disassembled, inspected and repaired as necessary. All worn, damaged or deteriorated parts will be replaced. The piano is then rebuilt, tested and adjusted to the same or similar tolerances as a new piano.

A complete rebuild includes the entire piano’s structure, including soundboard, bridges, pinblock and strings, as well as the keyboard, action and case refinishing.

A partial rebuild includes only one or two of these areas: for example, it may include rebuilding the structure and the action, but not the refinishing.


Restoration is the catchall phrase many restores use within the industry. In most cases, restoration can include all of the above. Which is why it is important to talk with the person you are considering hiring, and make sure you understand exactly the service you will receive.

A reputable piano dealer and restoration service will welcome your questions and provide you with as much detail as you need to feel comfortable with the process.

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