It’s no wonder that the Billy Bookcase is a staple piece of IKEA furniture. These bookcases are tall with six adjustable shelves, optional light glass doors and come in a variety of colors. IKEA design can’t be fully appreciated without some struggle, however. While the company prides itself on creating modular furniture that is easy to assemble, many people still struggle with following the directions provided. If you’ve built your own Billy Bookcase, but are looking to add some elegance to the piece, then consider adding some glass doors to the unit.
Organize Your Materials
This seems like an obvious step, but many still ignore it. Because IKEA instructions only provide visual diagrams, it’s important to take each item out of the box and lay them out. One glass door for your Billy Bookcase should come with the following components:
- 1 glass door
- 1 large wood screw
- 6 medium machine screws
- 6 small wood screws
- 1 door pull
- 4 door dampers (2 pairs)
- 3 mounting plates (for the door hinges)
- 3 metal door hinges
- 1 large L-shaped wall clamp with screws and washers
- 3 square hinge fillers
Things You Will Need
- Philip’s screwdriver
- Box cutter
- Small household drill and various drill bits (optional)
If you have experience with a smaller household drill, include it and a few Philips head screwdriver drill bits with your materials. Certain sections of this unit may be easier to assemble with the power of a drill, rather than a standard screwdriver. Be careful to use the drill on a low setting, however, to prevent the screw from stripping, and only increase the setting when you face more resistance.
Secure the Bookcase
If you haven’t done so already, be sure to hook the bookcase into the wall for stability. If you skip this step, you’ll be pulling on the doors of this unit to open and close them often enough to potentially pull the whole thing down on top of you. In order to secure the bookshelf, you must:
- Place the bookshelf against your desired wall.
- Find a stud in the wall, and center your bookcase to be in front of the stud.
- Using the L-shaped wall clamp, screws and washers provided with the clamp, and your drill, lay the longer part of the clamp with the oval hole on top of the bookshelf.
- Lay the shorter end of the L-shaped wall clamp against the wall where the stud is and keep it flush against both the wall and the top of the bookcase.
- Put a washer over the hole going into the wall, and screw into that hole.
Attach Hinges to the Door
Once the shorter end is secured to the wall, put a washer over the oval opening of the L-shaped wall clamp and screw into that hole.If you turn the glass door over to see the inside view, you’ll see three large holes going down both sides of the door. These holes are predrilled to offer you the choice of putting the hinges on either side of the door. In order to put the hinges on your door, you must:
- Choose which side of the door you’d like to attach the hinges. Line the three hinges next to the large holes on your chosen side.
- With one hinge bent upward, place the large circle part of the hinge into the largest drilled hole.
- Screw two wood screws through the smaller holes on top of the hinge.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the other two holes on the same side. All hinges should be installed on the same side, with the hinge bent upward.
- Take the three square hinge fillers and place them into the three remaining large holes opposite the hinges on the inside of the door.
Installing the Mounting Plates
Once the hinges are securely attached to the door, you’ll need to provide a way to adhere the door hinges to your already upright bookshelf. This kit provides three mounting plates that easily interlock with the hinges as long as they are installed correctly. In order to screw the mounting plates into the bookshelf, you must:
- Pick up the door and turn it over to show the front side. Stand it in front of your bookcase to see which side the hinges will attach to and where you will need to install the mounting plates. Put the door back down once you’ve figured out which side should have the mounting plates.
- At the top of the bookcase, find two columns of little holes lined up inside of the face of the bookcase. The top two holes in the column closest to the outside edge are where you will attach the first mounting plate.
- Examine one of the mounting plates. You should see a peg/screw as well as four holes. Two holes are labeled “A” and two are labeled “B." You want to be sure that the mounting plate is attached on the inside of the bookcase, with the “A” holes facing outward and the “B” holes lined up with the top two holes in the column closest to the outside edge.
- Take two of the medium machine screws and screw them into the “B” holes.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the two remaining mounting plates. The second mounting plate should be attached to the top two holes underneath the third shelf in the column closest to the outside edge. The third mounting plate should be attached to the bottom two holes in the column closest to the outside edge.
Attaching the Door
This step is both the easiest and the most potentially irritating of the installation. In order to properly install the door, you must make sure that each hinge and mounting plate are lined up correctly, and you also must make sure your door is level once it is installed. If the hinges don’t easily line up with the mounting plates, double-check the location of each hinge and mounting plate. They may need to be relocated. In order to install the door to the bookshelf, you must:
- Grab a friend or two. You will need help to hold the door in place while you screw the hinges and mounting plates together.
- Find the hole on the end of the top hinge. It should have a circular hole at one end, and an oval track beyond it.
- Push the screw/peg from the top mounting plate into the circular hole of the top hinge. Push it down the track until it reaches the end.
- Take the screwdriver and slowly screw the peg through the hinge and mounting plate. Only screw it in halfway until all the hinges are on their corresponding mounting plates.
- Repeat steps 2-4 for the middle and bottom hinges and the mounting plates.
- Once they are all partially screwed together, go back to the top hinge and tighten it as needed. Repeat for the middle and bottom hinges.
- If the door is not level, pay attention to the second screw in the center of the hinge. Alternate screwing the two middle screws of each hinge looser and tighter until the door lays flush against the bookcase.
Once your door is securely attached to the bookshelf, it’s time for the finishing touches. These glass doors come with door dampers which are small bumpers to help the door close gently, as well as a simple door pull. In order to finish this door, you must:
- Pick up the door pull and large wood screw included in your materials, as well as your screwdriver.
- Look at the middle of the door and find the side that opens. There should be a small hole in the middle of the open side of the door.
- Insert the large wood screw through this hole and screw it in with the screwdriver, not a drill. This part of the installation is relatively simple so if you use too much power the wood may crack.
- Place the door pull on the outside of the door with the threads facing the door. Screw the door pull on the wood screw until it is flush against the door.
- Once the door pull is installed, stick the door dampers to the top and bottom corners of the door, as well as over the door pull’s screw head.
Taking the time to build your own furniture is always a rewarding experience, even if it takes longer than expected. This IKEA bookshelf is elevated to elegance with the addition of glass doors, so don’t get discouraged if it gives you a hard time. Once you install one correctly, you should be able to finish a wall of them in no time.
Things You Will Need
- Billy bookcase
- Measuring tape
- Mounting hardware, included
- Screws, included
- Finish your installation by plugging small plastic caps into the holes on the bottom of the door. When you shut the door, the hinges on the side should move smoothly and easily.
- Make sure that you have every piece on the included list before beginning installation. Contact IKEA if any piece is missing from the door.