What Is Millwork?

If you’ve done research into building or remodeling a home, you’ve probably run across the term “millwork” — and if you didn’t know what it meant, you’re not alone.

In this article, we’ll talk about what millwork is, and what you need to know before purchasing some of your own. 

What Is Millwork and Why Do I Need It?

Millwork is any type of woodwork or building material that was historically manufactured in a mill. While this could include anything from doors to wall paneling, the term is most commonly used to refer to decorative trim, molding, door frames, and shelving. 

You don’t need millwork by any means, but it does have the power to transform a dull room into one with more character. Many homeowners install millwork to enhance blank walls and decorate big structures. Overall, it’s another great way to sneak some subtle design elements in and transform your home from something bland to something beautiful.

What’s the Difference Between Regular and Custom Millwork?

Regular millwork is pre-made millwork you can purchase straight from a building materials store. It’s a convenient option, but it doesn’t carry too many unique features. Conversely, custom millwork is tailored to meet your specific design wishes — from material to style to finish. 

Benefits of Custom Millwork

The small details in custom millwork can make all the difference in setting your home’s interior apart from others. Some of the main benefits of custom millwork include:

  • Originality – The customization factor allows you to add your own personal touch in each room your millwork is installed. 
  • High-quality – Due to an increased focus on design, custom millwork includes a great deal of attention to detail. This ensures your finished product is of superior quality.
  • Increased Property Value – If you’re looking to sell soon, installing custom millwork is a great way to add elegance to your home, and, in turn, boost its resale value.

What Should I Consider Before Purchasing Millwork?

If you’d like to install millwork in any part of your home, it’s important you find a solution that matches the needs of your home and fits into your project budget. Here a few things you should consider before making a purchase, in order to make sure you’ve made a high-quality choice:


In the past, millwork was only available in hardwood or softwood materials. Both of these are still good options, but they each come with different qualities that you should keep in mind. For example, hardwoods are usually more durable, but softwoods are easier to carve, cut, and install. 

Over the years, some more millwork materials have become available to homeowners: medium density fiberboard (MDF), polymer, and composite material. These are great cost-friendly and durable alternatives to the regular wood options. 


Millwork can vary in price, depending on the materials you choose and the level of customization you prefer. As with any building project, you’ll pay more for a higher quality product. 

In regards to materials, hardwood is usually the most expensive option, softwood is somewhere in the middle, and MDF or composite millwork is usually the least expensive. In regards to customization, more intricate designs will come with higher price tags. 


While some homeowners prefer the appearance of natural wood, others prefer their millwork to be stained or painted a certain color. This decision is completely up to you, but make sure to choose a material that can be stained or painted to achieve your desired look. 


If you want quality millwork, visit your local building materials supplier. They’ll be able to direct you to their trusted top name brands. 

At Standard Companies, we work with a variety of millwork manufacturers who we trust to get the job done right. A few of them include:

Looking for custom millwork or trim to complete your home or renovation project? Standard Companies offers a wide range of millwork options to suit any taste, style, or investment level. Stop into one of our showrooms or get in touch with our team online today.