How many Vinyl Records can I fit in my Shelf Space
You’ve got piles of vinyl records and you need some storage for them. But just how much space is needed, we’ll dig into the numbers to find out.
How thick is a vinyl record?
It might surprise you to know that there is no fixed or formalised specification for the thickness for a record. Measurements across a random selection show a range of thicknesses from about 0.9mm to 2.2mm (0.035-0.086 inches). It depends on the manufacturer, the time period and the quality specification they were working to. It kind of makes sense too, you bring the record player needle down onto the vinyl and it rests in the groove, but the exact height of the vinyl doesn’t matter because the needle can rest at any height.
Vinyl sleeve thickness makes all the difference
The thickness of the vinyl itself is really just a component of what needs to be stored, the card sleeve and potentially a plastic wallet will add significantly to the thickness as well as any double album sleeves or other quirky packaging. So all measurements of the space needed to store records will be an average and dependent upon these packaging factors. You also don’t want to pack them so tightly into a space that you can’t get your fingers in-between to pull them out, so leave some room at the end for them to be accessible. This also avoids any damage to the sleeves when pulling and pushing them in and out.
How many vinyl records fit in Kallax
Many people get cube storage for their vinyl and Ikea’s Kallax is often used, so how many records can a kallax hold in one cube? The cubes are 33.5cm / 13 1/4” wide and will hold up to 90 records in each opening. However, our suggestion is to limit this to 70-80 to keep them easily accessible. For reference a stack of 100 records is about 34cm / 13.5”. It might seem obvious, but worth saying, that vinyl should be stored upright on its edge rather than laid flat, the weight of a pile of vinyl like this would make it impractical to access them.
How many vinyl records per foot?
You may have less than one hundred records or perhaps you have north of one thousand, maybe you don’t even know, but you might be surprised if you haven’t counted them recently! In this case you need much more significant shelving, so the question is how much is enough. We find that around 60-80 records per foot (per 30cm) is ideal being a good compromise between fitting them all onto the shelf and not over-filling the shelf so that you can’t easily grab records out of the collection when you want to play them. So for reference, we would suggest:
- 2 feet (60cm) for 120-160 records
- 3 feet (90cm) for 180-240 records
- 4 feet (120cm) for 240-320 records
- 5 feet (150cm) for 300-400 records
- 6 feet (180cm) for 360-480 records
How much do 100 Vinyl Records Weight?
Vinyl is heavy, typically a stack of 100 would weight in at around 21kg / 46 lbs, including the sleeves, which in fact can make can up the majority of the weight. This is another serious consideration when planning your storage, a flimsy set of shelves packed full of vinyl will simply not take the weight. Kallax cube storage will tend to have a slight wobble when fully loaded so for a large collection the serious collector will want to look for a higher quality alternative to Kallax. Solid wood rather than chipboard and pre-built rather than flat-pack will make all the difference here. Your collection is a huge investment so don’t skimp on the storage and display aspects.
While you're here why not check out Urban Edition's range of vinyl storage furniture made from quality solid hardwoods, including products holding 40 records all the way up to products holding 800.
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