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DIY Design & Renovation

DIY Design & Renovation

Millwork & Trim

Millwork & Trim

MILLWORK & TRIM

What’s the difference between millwork and trim anyway?

Depending on who you ask, millwork and trim (and even molding) can be used interchangeably. (If you ask us, we’ll tell you exactly that!) If we’re getting technical though, there are a couple of minor differences worth calling out.

Trim: This is a general term that’s used to describe the molding in a home. This can be baseboards, window casings, or door casings, to name a few.

Millwork: Millwork goes beyond what trim does. In other words, not every home has millwork, although every home has trim. It adds a level of extra detail and beauty to a room. Think about the dramatic crown molding you love in old, historical homes! Or those swoon-worthy curvy, custom staircases in your recently saved Pinterest photos!

MILLWORK & TRIM

What’s the difference between millwork and trim anyway?

Depending on who you ask, millwork and trim (and even molding) can be used interchangeably. (If you ask us, we’ll tell you exactly that!) If we’re getting technical though, there are a couple of minor differences worth calling out.

Trim: This is a general term that’s used to describe the molding in a home. This can be baseboards, window casings, or door casings, to name a few.

Millwork: Millwork goes beyond what trim does. In other words, not every home has millwork, although every home has trim. It adds a level of extra detail and beauty to a room. Think about the dramatic crown molding you love in old, historical homes! Or those swoon-worthy curvy, custom staircases in your recently saved Pinterest photos!

What’s the difference between millwork and trim anyway?

Depending on who you ask, millwork and trim (and even molding) can be used interchangeably. (If you ask us, we’ll tell you exactly that!) If we’re getting technical though, there are a couple of minor differences worth calling out.

Trim: This is a general term that’s used to describe the molding in a home. This can be baseboards, window casings, or door casings, to name a few.

Millwork: Millwork goes beyond what trim does. In other words, not every home has millwork, although every home has trim. It adds a level of extra detail and beauty to a room. Think about the dramatic crown molding you love in old, historical homes! Or those swoon-worthy curvy, custom staircases in your recently saved Pinterest photos!

MILLWORK & TRIM

What’s the difference between millwork and trim anyway?

Depending on who you ask, millwork and trim (and even molding) can be used interchangeably. (If you ask us, we’ll tell you exactly that!) If we’re getting technical though, there are a couple of minor differences worth calling out.

Trim: This is a general term that’s used to describe the molding in a home. This can be baseboards, window casings, or door casings, to name a few.

Millwork: Millwork goes beyond what trim does. In other words, not every home has millwork, although every home has trim. It adds a level of extra detail and beauty to a room. Think about the dramatic crown molding you love in old, historical homes! Or those swoon-worthy curvy, custom staircases in your recently saved Pinterest photos!

MILLWORK & TRIM

MILLWORK & TRIM

What’s the difference between millwork and trim anyway?

Depending on who you ask, millwork and trim (and even molding) can be used interchangeably. (If you ask us, we’ll tell you exactly that!) If we’re getting technical though, there are a couple of minor differences worth calling out.

Trim: This is a general term that’s used to describe the molding in a home. This can be baseboards, window casings, or door casings, to name a few.

Millwork: Millwork goes beyond what trim does. In other words, not every home has millwork, although every home has trim. It adds a level of extra detail and beauty to a room. Think about the dramatic crown molding you love in old, historical homes! Or those swoon-worthy curvy, custom staircases in your recently saved Pinterest photos!

MILLWORK & TRIM

What’s the difference between millwork and trim anyway?

Depending on who you ask, millwork and trim (and even molding) can be used interchangeably. (If you ask us, we’ll tell you exactly that!) If we’re getting technical though, there are a couple of minor differences worth calling out.

Trim: This is a general term that’s used to describe the molding in a home. This can be baseboards, window casings, or door casings, to name a few.

Millwork: Millwork goes beyond what trim does. In other words, not every home has millwork, although every home has trim. It adds a level of extra detail and beauty to a room. Think about the dramatic crown molding you love in old, historical homes! Or those swoon-worthy curvy, custom staircases in your recently saved Pinterest photos!

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Here are some popular types of millwork and trim.

Here are some popular types of millwork and trim.

Baseboard
Millwork that connects the area where the floor meets the wall.
Baseboard Cap
Detailed pieces that rest on top of the baseboard. Think: cap, aka hat!
Baseboard Shoe
A thin strip of molding that lines the bottom of the baseboard.
Crown Molding
A decorative trim or molding that is installed along the top edge of interior walls where they meet the ceiling.
Chair Rail
A wall molding installed about three feet above (and parallel to) your floor.
Door Casing
The functional (and decorative) molding used to frame your doors.
Window Casing
The functional (and decorative) molding used to frame your windows.
Wainscoting
Decorative paneling installed on the lower portion of interior walls, typically covering the area between the baseboard and chair rail.
Beadboard
Architectural element made out of thin vertical strips, topped off with a piece of horizontal molding.
Board and Batten
A style of wall treatment or siding featuring alternating wide vertical boards and narrow strips called battens.
Tray Ceiling
A ceiling design characterized by a central section that is elevated or recessed (usually about a foot higher) compared to the surrounding areas, creating a tray-like appearance.
Coffered Ceiling
A ceiling design adorned with a grid-like pattern of recessed panels or beams.
Shiplap
A type of wooden siding or wall paneling where long, horizontally overlapping boards fit together with a slight gap between them.
Tongue and Groove
A joining method where two pieces of wood or other materials have interlocking edges.
Panel Molding
Decorative trim or molding installed on walls to create framed or paneled sections.
Window Sill
The horizontal ledge or shelf located at the bottom of a window opening (typically collecting dust!).

Have a question (or two) about all of this? Check out our millwork and trim FAQ below.

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When selecting trim for a room, you should consider the architectural style of the space, the desired aesthetic, and how much maintenance you want to deal with. Then, the devil is in the details! Your choice of material and finish of the trim should align with the desired feel/style of the space and the upkeep requirements. Ask your supplier for help figuring out all these details!

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Depends on who you're asking! It's possible to do a millwork and trim job yourself, but it comes with trade-offs. We recommend doing your research to determine whether you’re up for the challenge. The benefit of hiring a pro is that they have the expertise, tools, and experience to ensure precise measurements and proper installation techniques.

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The installation time for millwork or trim varies depending on the complexity and scope of the project. It can range from a few hours for smaller projects to several days or more for larger or more intricate installations. Some factors to consider are the number of pieces to be installed, the type of trim, and any necessary modifications or adjustments that can impact the installation timeline.

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Yes to both! Trim can be painted or stained depending on personal preference and the desired look. Painting will give you more of a range of color options and finishes while staining showcases the natural beauty and grain of the wood. The choice will depend on the type of look you’re going for.

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The limit does not exist! For example, crown molding can add height and elegance to a space, while baseboards can provide a finished and polished look to the bottom of walls. Chair rails and wainscoting can introduce visual interest and divide the wall into distinct sections, creating a sense of architectural detail and sophistication. The possibilities are endless!

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Yes, trim can be used to make a small room appear larger. By selecting trim in lighter colors and avoiding heavy or ornate profiles, the trim can create a visual illusion of expanded space. Design wizardry!

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Ideally, you’re installing millwork or trim before painting the walls. This allows for seamless painting of the walls and trim. That said, you can totally do the installation after painting the walls. We recommend doing a coat of paint on your trim beforehand and being extra cautious when taping around the trim after.

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The specific tools needed for millwork or trim installation may vary depending on the project, but commonly used tools include a miter saw for precise angle cuts, a nail gun or hammer for securing the trim, a level for ensuring straight installation, measuring tape, a coping saw for detailed cuts, sandpaper for smoothing edges, and a caulk gun for sealing joints. Pro-Tip: You can rent some of these tools from shops like Home Depot or Lowes.

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The good news is it’s pretty simple. Proper maintenance of millwork or trim involves regular cleaning with a soft cloth or mild detergent to remove dust or dirt. Depending on the material, periodic refinishing, like re-staining or repainting, may be required to keep the trim looking its best. Or if you like a natural patina, then you’re golden!

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Yes, millwork and trim can be customized to fit unique design requirements. Custom millwork and trim can be crafted to match specific dimensions, styles, or design concepts — even the most unique and complex ones! Working with a skilled millwork professional or carpenter can help bring complicated design visions to life by creating custom pieces tailored to the project's specific needs.

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