What Is Millwork

Have you seen those beautiful, large, sliding wooden doors in your friend’s home that make the perfect statement piece? Or maybe you’ve come across some wood paneling on a wall in your favorite restaurant. That work comes from millwork. But what exactly is millwork?

Millwork: What is it?

According to The Black Goose Design, “Millwork can include crown moulding, finished trim work, interior doors, shiplap, board and batten, and wainscoting.” Essentially, millwork can include any woodwork that had to be cut in a sawmill to get the final product. It’s usually made from various types of wood, like oak, poplar, hickory, fir, maple, and pine.

The History of Millwork

People have worked as carpenters and woodcarvers for centuries, dating as far back as 6,000 years ago. Even though woodworking has been around forever, the “Golden Age” of millwork didn’t happen until 1880 and lasted until 1910. During this time, almost every aspect of the buildings, both interior, and exterior were made from wood, down to the pieces of furniture.

It was typically reflected in Victorian-style architecture, which is still prevalent today. During the Victorian era, millwork was extremely popular and was arguably the most frequent building material. BluEnt wrote in a blog that “This was made possible due to cheap labor and mechanization that was introduced into the production process of millwork then. Mechanical saws and introduction of other types of machines ensured the mass manufacture of millwork and the booming market of millwork.”

Types of Millwork

There are lots of different kinds of millwork–it’s more common than you might expect. It can be used for both practical projects and creative pieces.

Interior millwork includes millwork that can be found indoors. So, stairs, railings, cabinets, doors, molding and trims, and mantels are all places you may find millwork inside. There’s also exterior millwork, which includes columns and posts, pergolas, outdoor railings, and cupolas and weathervanes.

Within the past several years, it’s become common practice for architectural millwork to include wood alternatives such as synthetics, plastics, and wood-adhesive composites. These alternatives are commonly found in mass-produced millwork products, which are often made in bulk, making them a cheaper option. This leaves the possibility of not having as high-quality of a product that you’d like, and it’s harder to use with aesthetic pieces that focus more on the design than practicality.

But, if you’re looking for those design-oriented woodwork pieces, custom-designed architectural millwork would be the best option. The material is high-quality, and you can customize the pieces. This option does bring a higher price, but if you get to have some control over how it looks, the cost will be worth it.

Some of the millwork we do includes architectural wood paneling, running and standing trim, casework, estate millwork, stairs and railings, and architectural specialties. Head over to our millwork installation page for more information.

Now that you know a little more about what millwork is, some brief history behind the practice, and the different uses and types, we hope you’ll reach out if you would like to add a beautiful piece to your home or office space. We love to brighten any space with millwork. Get in touch with us here.