What Makes A Good Vinyl Record display?
Well. A lot of things, actually.
There are so many great options available to display vinyl records, from framing, to storage units, custom shelves and more, it’s almost overwhelming. Welcome to the wonderful world of vinyl record collecting. With so many options to choose from, we’ve broken down the methods and reasoning behind some of the most common displays.
Let’s start with the WHY. If you fall into any (or all) of the below categories, we can begin narrowing the spectrum a bit… Do any of the following sound relatable?
I pulled my old vinyl out of storage, or inherited some records, and I’m in need of a good storage place to organize everything in my home. These records are a great keepsake for myself and make great gifts for my friends. I have a lot of friends. Have you seen my facebook?
I want to see what’s Now Playing while I listen instead of tossing the album cover aside or putting it away. I usually prop the album cover against the wall while listening. Or put it on a shelf ledge. But my cat knocks them down sometimes. Dammit cat. I love you.
I want to display some meaningful records on the wall like art. I love my wall. My wall is me. I am my wall. Now we’re getting metaphysical. And I’m running out of wall space.
I’m suddenly infatuated with collecting vinyl records. They are accumulating more quickly than I’d like to admit. My roommate is noticeably upset. How did this happen? I’m running out of house. Where is the cat?
Vinyl Record Storage
If you’re running low on space in your house, let’s start here. There are a ton of great storage units that can fit into nearly any space. First and foremost you’ll want to find something durable. Your storage unit will need to last a long time unless you think your vinyl addiction is going away anytime soon. And this is important – it needs to hold vinyl. Vinyl is heavy. Have you held vinyl? But it feels pretty lightweight when I’m holding just one! They add up quickly. As an example, if you stacked about 50 vinyl records in a cube (the height of a vinyl record) we’d be looking at an average of 40 lbs. in about 12 inches of space. And speaking of, be sure to measure well. 12” LP album covers are actually 12.5” wide and tall. You’ll want your shelf height to be at least 13-14” so you have room to easily (and constantly) search, remove and replace your albums on the shelf as your collection grows.
And maybe you also want this storage unit to hold your record player? Now you’re going to need something with enough depth for a turntable while simultaneously holding it steady so that the player doesn’t skip if you have a few drinks and stumble into your new storage unit. Endeavor to spin responsibly ladies and gentlemen.
There are so many solutions to vinyl storage, from affordable, bulletproof units like the infamous Ikea Kallax to vintage listening stations and standard shelving units from the hardware store. Ikea’s Kallax comes in at a good price point, and while it’s ever so slightly thinner than it’s parent unit (RIP Expedit, we’ll miss you), the Kallax is fully stable and works hard to make sure your vinyl records are sturdy, and the unit itself is not going to tip or fall over. Its depth will easily hold most turntables and when assembled correctly, the shelves will not bow from the weight of all your records. Follow the instructions y’all.
Looking for something different? There are some really inspiring high-end options too, from custom listening station designs to restored mid-century modern furniture that makes you feel like you’re in an episode of Mad Men. If you’re looking for something that says… I give a shit about my house, and I’m not assembling any damn furniture today, check out our Pinterest board on vinyl storage options for more inspiration.
Vinyl Record Frames
Have some extra wall space and enjoy a nice piece of art? Did you pull some meaningful records out of storage or inherit something nice? Framing vinyl records may be for you. Framing, when done well, screams: I give a damn about this vinyl record …Primarily because framing is the number one solution for long-term protection and preservation of memorabilia.
Frames come in all kinds of materials. Try not to skimp on plastic parts. If you’re going this route, look for a nice wooden or metal frame with glass or a scratch-resistant, anti-glare fiberglass for protection that will stand the test of time. Some framing solutions even offer the added utility of opening on a hinge so you can access the records and change them out as you feel the need. In most cases, frames are best suited for vinyl that you don’t plan on spinning frequently, or in some cases ever again. Call it a keepsake or a piece of art. And keep those fingerprints off the glass.
Frames also make stellar gifts, particularly if you go the extra mile to have them properly matted by a professional. Check out more examples worthy of that special someone in your life. Even if that special someone is you. We won’t judge.
Vinyl Record Shelves / Now Playing displays
Tired of tossing those album covers aside while listening? Custom shelves and album ledges are a great alternative for displaying what is Now Playing, while also giving you the ability to change your albums frequently. And if you’re not in the mood to shell out too much cash for something fabricated, the countless number of materials available at the local hardware store make it fairly easy to get creative with your own DIY options, making for more affordable solutions that will fit in nearly any listening environment.
One bit of frustration may come in the form of adding more holes to your wall. But like storage, we’re searching for something stable and secure here. The last thing you want to do is join the Bent Corner Club when an album cover falls down. Shut the windows and leave the ceiling fans off if you’re going with shelves that can catch a draft.
And for cat’s sake, place your vinyl shelf high above the ground. But not out of reach. But high enough. But not near other surfaces that are within cat-launching distance.
While leaning an album cover on a shelf or against a wall is a nice option for versatility and ongoing rotation, unless you’re changing album covers out fairly frequently, keep in mind that the longer you leave an empty album cover leaning against the wall, the more likely it is to begin bowing or warping until you re-insert the vinyl record.
Trying to make the most of it all
When designing Record Props, we sought out to design with attention to detail. We aimed at creating a display that is inspired by our needs, helps solve our most common challenges, and is extremely versatile and unique. Just as importantly, we wanted something that highlights the artists we all admire, and the time, effort and hard work that goes into making an analog format that represents the very idea of music and expression.
Record Props, like shelves, give listeners the option to change albums out quickly and easily, but they are also designed with the ability to pair both the vinyl record and the album cover together in one unique display. This can be done with both single albums and most gatefolds (double LP's) in a number of creative ways.
Most importantly, for avid listeners, Record Props let you change vinyl records in seconds. They are specifically designed with this in mind – to easily display what is Now Playing – giving the listener a safe and easy way to continually change albums quickly and without any disassembly.
A Multi-Purpose Display
Record Props (to our knowledge) is the only multi-use design that offers the option of displaying your albums on the wall or on a flat, tabletop surface using the same display without disassembly. All it takes is a simple twist and listeners can go from wall to tabletop (or vice-versa) in just seconds. And did we mention it’s easy? We’ve tested it on a five-year-old just to be sure. She nailed it.
A Frameless Display
Record Props offer a frameless design that holds your album covers flush against the wall (avoiding the album shelf lean that results in album cover bowing) AND a protective bumper that holds your vinyl record safely in place too. The result is the effect that your records are floating on the wall. And you'd be hard-pressed to find any wind or cats knocking your albums down. Unless you're in a tornado.
Album frames and record shelves often take several screws to hang on the wall. This can be a challenging investment, especially for anyone living in apartment settings. Each Record Prop takes just one screw (included) to hang on the wall. Not only does it make it super easy get set up, but the included lock washer also ensures your Record Props remain straight and locked in place for the long term. This also makes it easy to level and adjust if ever necessary in the future. Take a gander at the installation process here.
TRAVEL & PORTABILITY
Measuring just 4 inches in diameter (the size of a record label), Record Props were designed to be small and portable. DJ's can take Record Props with them to display what's Now Playing. Musicians can use them on tour at their merch tables. Listeners can show off their favorite artists. Cats can try to knock them down. You get the gist.
We think Record Props are currently the most versatile option for displaying vinyl records. We’ve tried to create a design that solves most challenges of tabletop and wall displays, and combine them into one, easy peasy device. But we also think you should be the judge. Take a look around and give Record Props a try. If you don’t like them, send them back for a full refund. Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Still have questions? Please contact us anytime.