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How to Add Doors to an IKEA Billy Bookcase

Grace Alexander

An Ikea Billy bookcase can be used with or without wooden or glass fronted doors, thanks to the pre-drilled holes for the adjustable shelving. Mix and match materials, styles, and colors for a bookcase that is uniquely your own.

How to Add Doors to an IKEA Billy Bookcase

Creating your own personalized Ikea bookcase is possible with the Billy model, which allows you to mix and match doors for the functionality that you desire. As with many Ikea products, assembly is done by the purchaser. This task will be a lot easier and safer if you have someone to help you hold the doors steady while attaching them to the bookcase.


It may be tempting to use a power screwdriver to drive screws in quickly, but this can cause the predrilled holes in the particleboard to become stripped by the screw. Using a standard screwdriver will add a few minutes to assembly time but will help avoid damage to the bookcase or doors.

    Locate Hinge Installation Points

  1. There are vertical sets of predrilled holes on the interior of each side panel of the bookshelf. These are used to support the shelf pegs and are also designed to hold the bookcase door brackets. For tall bookcases, you'll be using the top two holes in the uppermost set, the bottom two holes in the second set and the bottom two holes in the last set. For short bookcases, you'll be using the two holes at the very top and the two holes at the very bottom. The door has predrilled holes, so you can hold the door up to the bookcase to help you make sure you have the correct bracket locations.

  2. Identify the Hardware and Screws

  3. Sort your hardware into two piles. The bracket (which will be mounted in the bookcase interior) is the flatter piece of hardware. The door hinge has a U-shaped section in the middle, is hinged to open and close and features a round section designed to fit into the depression in the door. Your hardware packet will also include plastic pieces that are used to cover unused depressions in the doors.

  4. Attach the Brackets to the Bookcase

  5. Refer to your Ikea instructions to ensure you choose the right piece of the hinge assembly. There will be small arrows stamped into the metal to show you which side of the hinge should point out of the bookcase. Using the Phillips-head screwdriver, drive screws through the top and bottom holes on the bracket into the two holes indicated in the bookcase. Tap the hinge plates flush with the wood, but stop screwing a few turns before the bracket becomes completely tight; you'll need wiggle room to correctly position the door. Repeat until all brackets are in place.

  6. Attach the Door Hinges to the Doors

  7. Attach the hinges to the door using the predrilled holes as a guide. The hinge opens and shuts; it is usually easier to install in an open, flat position. Insert the small round section of the hinge into the shallow hole in the door. These hinges should be screwed down firmly, with no wiggle room left. Repeat until all hinges are in place.

  8. Attach the Door Hinges to the Brackets

  9. A helper will make this step go more smoothly. Set all of the door hinges to the "open" position so that the tongue of the hinge can slide over the center of the bracket. Align the holes and affix the hinge to the bracket using the appropriate screws through the set of holes in the center of the hinge tongue and bracket. Repeat for all hinges on the first door. Hang the second door in the same fashion.

  10. Adjust the Door Height

  11. Because you left the brackets on the interior of the bookcase loose, you can now adjust the height of your doors so that the tops and bottoms are aligned with each other. Adjust the doors until you are happy with the position, and then tighten the bracket screws.

  12. Adjust the Door Closure

  13. The doors should close easily, lie flush against the bookcase and meet evenly in the center. If the doors gap away from the bookcase, or if there is space between them in the middle, the depth and spacing can be adjusted by turning the screws in the center of the door hinge arm where it covers the center of the bracket.

  14. Secure the Bookcase to the Wall

  15. After your Ikea Billy bookcase is fully assembled with doors installed and the case set permanently in place, you can use the included strap to attach it to the wall. This provides added stability, and keeps small children or pets from tipping the bookcase over. After assembly and stabilization, you can fill your new Ikea Billy bookcase with your belongings and close the doors to keep the contents dust free.

  16. Warning

    Some Billy doors have glass panels. Accidental flexing of the door can cause them to break, and dropping the door can cause shattering of the glass. Use caution during installation.