The Life Expectancy of Pianos

Understanding the life expectancy of pianos will help save you frustration and heartache later when you want to buy or sell an older piano.

Travis Mitchell March 1, 2016 2 Min Read

How long does a piano last? These days, there is an obsession with all things “vintage” and “antique”. In many cases, the older something is, the greater its perceived value. Oftentimes this correlation is accurate. Programs like Antiques Road Show and Storage Wars have shown us that the “old junk” many people have sitting in their attics can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars in today’s market.

However, when it comes to pianos, this is usually not the case. Some owners of very old antique or family pianos believe that their pianos are worth huge sums of money when in actuality they are worth very little unless a significant and cost-prohibitive amount of work is put into them. So what is the life expectancy of pianos?

What is the Life Expectancy of Pianos?

In short, it depends.

With regular proper maintenance, tuning, and storage, a quality piano can give up to 50 years of adequate service. This is if the owners store the piano in a location where humidity and temperature will not have a negative effect on the various intricate wooden pieces, and if they have it regularly tuned and any issues that arise promptly addressed. If these things are not done, the piano will not last nearly as long as 50 years. But after about 50 years, even well-crafted, properly maintained pianos begin to lose value because they are simply very old machines. They no longer work or play like they once did.

How to Determine the Value of Your Used Piano

Many customers come to Miller Piano Specialists because they have a piano in their possession and want to know whether it is a good one and, if so, how much it is worth. Using the famed Pierce Piano Atlas, we are able to look up almost any piano in the world by serial number and find information about the origin, history, quality, and value of the piano just by turning a few pages.

The Pierce Piano Atlas gives a great starting point when it comes to determining the value of a used piano.

Once the age and maintenance level of your piano is determined, the true market value of it generally depends on how much work you are willing to put into it. A very old piano of sentimental value can be rebuilt from the inside out and have all of its essential parts replaced, but it will not be worth a great deal simply by virtue of being old and functional. However, well-made and maintained pianos less than 50 years old can be worth quite a bit, so it is always important to check!

We Can Help!

If you need help determining the life expectancy or market value of a piano you own, contact the experts at Miller Piano Specialists today. Give us a call at (615) 771-0020, or learn more by visiting our website at

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