12 Common Examples of Millwork (Explained with Pictures)

Wood home front door

Millwork is a general name for woodwork items made in a mill. Also, it is the term used to describe various items of woodwork that are made with specific details to fit a particular place. 

As a result, architectural millwork can include various wood types depending on what the client wants. Millwork finds application at the door, panel, trims, molding, and various parts of the house

Millwork can also be seen as a design piece since they require high and detailed precision to achieve the desired shape. Modern sawmills use computer-aided tools to precisely cut words into the needed form. This helps achieve both efficiency and accuracy. 

Get to know various examples of millwork, and how they find application in different parts of the house. We will also discuss specific features of each and their peculiarities 

The quality of millwork is usually exquisite due to the things that go into the production. Indeed, most parts of millwork need highly skilled manual attention. So, it is safe to say that the computer will not take over this job yet. 

Architectural millwork has to do with the various decorative aspect of a house. Some house designs like the staircase explicitly have parts fabricated in mills but put together onsite for the specific spot. 

Because of the precision involved and the fact that millwork has to be customized, they are not mass-produced. Each piece is usually designed with specific places in mind, which must pass some test to retain its quality and effectiveness of those pieces. 

Common Types of Millworks 

This article will describe various types of millwork and the corresponding examples



These are planks used to cover the interior part of the wall at the lowest part. It usually covers it up to the lower joint of the door. It can be a few inches high or might reach halfway to the walls

It is called different names in architecture like wainscoting, skirting board, floor molding, base molding, etc. The baseboard helps protect the joint between the floor and the wall surface. 


It is also called a handrail, usually located on the staircase. Banisters are the part that people can grab for support while moving on the stairs. 

The idea is to provide support, guidance, and stability for people along the stair. 

Chair Rails 

These are horizontal moldings fixed on walls for protection when chairs are on the move in the room.

Chair rails serve two purposes in a house. It can provide a piece of decorative element for the intended space. Also, it is used to protect high-traffic parts of a building from wear and tear. 

Also, if you have areas in your house where you often move pieces of furniture around, a chair rail is essential. It is commonly used in breakfast nooks, living rooms, dining rooms, and foyers. 

Crown Molding

This is another piece of a decorative element. It finds application in the capping of columns, cabinets, and most interior walls, especially at the point of intersection of the ceiling with the wall. 

It uses the term crown because the crown molding is usually used majorly at the top of the room.

If done right, crown molding can lift the space, giving the impression of a higher ceiling. This piece is lovely in every house and can help conceal all imperfections in a home

Door Frames

Irrespective of the shape and size, the door frame comes with the sole purpose of providing a seal for the door. 

A door frame is made of interior and exterior parts with unique ideas because the outside edge will have to deal with the elements. 

It is an integral part of the door usually concealed within the wall. It supports the door, providing the ideal platform to open and close. 

Interior Doors

These are moveable structures manufactured and designed for indoor use. Interior doors provide access or egress to specific places in the building. 

It finds application in commercial and residential buildings and performs functions like privacy, aesthetics, noise, reduction, etc. 


Also called a mantelpiece, it is a decorative frame structured for a fireplace opening. It comes with a shelf placed above the firebox

Also, it has a surround which is the material placed between the mantel and firebox. It could be concrete, brick, or tile. 


This panel protects the lower portion of a partition or an interior wall. It is made of wood and does not only protect but decorates the room. Some people also use tile or marble instead of wood. 

Wainscoting keeps the wall from damage that could be caused by chairs, scuff marks from shoes, and whatever might want to damage the wall. 


This is a decorative molding attached to the top of walls in buildings. They are located at the extreme top of an external wall right beneath the roof. The idea behind cornice in the olden days was to serve as a barrier between rainwater and the walls. 

Today, however, cornices are used to hide unsightly joints between the roof and walls. Also, a cornice can help hide any allowance left between the timber framing and plasterboards

It will be easy for the wood to expand or contract with cornice, preventing cracking of the plasterboard. 


These are decorative supports that protrude from a wall. It has a vertical and horizontal part that forms a right angle. 

The vertical part is attached to the wall, while the horizontal component is attached to the supported counter, shelf, or roof. Corbels serve various purposes like aesthetics and support

Many people use corbels to adorn their homes even though they also serve as a support element.


The original idea behind the cupola was to introduce ventilation and natural light beneath a roof. Cupolas come in various shapes (round, octagonal, and square) and are located beneath the ridge of a roof.

They are also used on barns, and they give a continuous supply of air which helps keep the hay dry. 


Pergolas are available in sizes and shapes; however, they all have the same primary purpose – keeping the home and inhabitants from the elements. 

It could be a shower during spring rain or a protective layer to keep the sun out during summer. 

Reference Articles 

Types of baseboards

Types of railings handrails 

Crown molding

Doors frames

Does a door need a frame?

Old door house mantels 

10 questions about wainscoting

What are cornices?

Cupolas What is the purpose of a pergola?