Millworking Terms: A Glossary of Useful Terminology

Millwork Glossary

When you’re looking to expand your knowledge of millworking, you’ll need a millwork glossary in your corner. For example, you may not understand the difference between baseboard molding or shoe molding, or you might be interested in knowing what a fillet or apron molding refers to. By taking a moment to review the primary terms you’ll need to know while working in the millworking industry, you’ll be ready to use the correct materials and take the appropriate actions to receive your desired result.

If you’re in the millworking industry, take a moment to review our millwork glossary.

Millwork Glossary

Millwork Glossary


As you look to stay up to date on the most useful millworking terms, check out Compass Hardwoods’ glossary below.


Apron Molding

An apron molding is a piece of boxing, horizontal frame or window molding designed for craftspeople to place under the wall’s window stool. Aprons are an attractive way to hide seals formed by an interior wall’s surface or a sill.


An architrave is a kind of molding that forms a door’s top horizontal trim piece and hides tabular lines or increases a window’s size. Additionally, these moldings are thicker and wider than a door’s casing.


An astragal is a type of internal molding designed to prevent two doors and other openings from tipping over.


Back Band

A back band is a narrow grooved molding used with baseboards. You can find back bands on the outer edge and outer corner of the door box, as well as on the interior window. Some people opt to place them on the floor to give the panel a more rugged look.

Baseboard Molding

Baseboard molding is a kind of molding designed for installation to a wall’s bottom. These moldings accent walls and help cover imperfections located between a room’s walls and flooring.

Band Molding

A band molding is a protective or decorative flat strip extending or flushing above a surface. Generally, millworking companies use them to cut cabinets or mantels.

Base Cap

A base cap is a kind of decorative piece, most often used as a decorative panel. Craftspeople place these decorative pieces on a dimensional board’s top to craft a two-piece baseboard.

Base Shoe

Also known as a floor or shoe shape, a base shoe creates a transition between finished cabinets, walls or floors. People use base shoes to hide cracks or irregular lines and guard surfaces against damage.


Balusters are turned or square stairs carrying a lane and featuring a spindle-shaped and vertical design.


A balustrade is a staircase-, landing- or balcony-mounted system of balusters or railings. Balustrades give people a handrail and extra protection.

Bead Molding

Bead molding is a type of hanging or smooth molding you can find where a couple of surfaces meet at an angle. You can often see bead molding used where a ceiling and walls meet as an alternative to a crown.


A brace is a device used in assembled window units to ensure the unit stays square.

Brick Molding

Brick molding is a kind of thick molding used as a casing in an exterior window or an exterior door. As a casing, brick molding acts as a brick surface and connects the exterior cladding. You’ll often see brick molding used to form a combined door, storm protection belt or a mesh screen.



A cap is the top portion of a pilaster, fairing, partition or entrance. Some popular caps include drip caps, entrance caps and dado caps.


The capital is the highest structural portion — such as a crown or head — of a pier, pilaster or column.

Cap Molding

A cap molding is a type of molding piece used with a door ornament or window to better illustrate an ornament’s design.

Cased Opening

A cased opening refers to a doorless interior opening finished with a box and poles.


Casing is a kind of trim applied to window and door openings. An interior casing cuts inside a door or window’s perimeter, while an outer casing cuts outside a door or window. Some common casings include head casing, exterior casing and door casing.


Caulk refers to sealants designed to seal joints and cracks in window and door frames.


A column is a vertical structure with a circular cross-section. It contains a capital, shaft and base.


Cope refers to a technique where someone shapes or cuts a molded wood member’s end. This end then fits and covers the sticking coping’s contour.

Corner Blocks

Corner blocks are square blocks people can use instead of mitering main and side envelopes.

Corner Guards

Corner guards are protective pieces designed to protect a wall’s outer edges.


A cornice is a structure’s exterior covering designed to fit a wall and ceiling. These coverings feature moldings and boards. You can find them in simple, boxed or open configurations and in various interior designs to fit the flanks and roof.

Cove Molding

A cove molding is a kind of molded part featuring a concave profile. Usually, people use it to smooth the transition between vertical planes. People also use it for corner protection for vertical corners and as crowns for a roof.

Crown Molding

Also referred to as cornice molding, crown molding is a kind of molding craftspeople use to cover intersections between roofs and walls. People install these moldings in suspension.



A dado is a rectangular groove cut into a wood leg’s groove.

Dentil Molding

A dentil molding is a kind of molding consisting of equally spaced small square blocks. It gets its name due to the way these small blocks protrude like teeth.

Dentil Crown

Dentil crowns are moldings specifically designed for crowns. They incorporate various kinds of molds, such as base caps, bases and crowns, and have teeth to give a crown an appropriate mold system.


A doorjamb is a part of a door frame touching and surrounding a door’s top rails and post edges.



A fascia is a kind of wooden element on a cornice’s exterior and attached to rafters’ ends.


A fillet refers to a slim strip of wood placed between a wooden element’s two slots. When used with stairs, a fillet is a third wood strip designed to fit in the intermediate plow or helmet between balusters. It can also refer to a square molding made to separate other moldings.

Finger Joint

Millwork Glossary


Finger joint refers to a wood piece featuring a series of fingers, machined at two parts’ end pieces. The finger joints on both parts join with a water-resistant adhesive.

Flat Stocks

Flat stocks are finished three- or four-sided boards used for pedestals, shelves or window frames.


A frame is an all-encompassing term referring to every piece surrounding a door or window. Sills make up the lower horizontal section of the frame, while the headjamb makes up the upper horizontal section. Additionally, a frame’s vertical elements are called lateral pillars.

Full Rounds

Full rounds are a type of carpentry with rods, used for towel rails, closet poles and curtain rods.



Hardwood is a type of wood originating from trees with broad leaves. Hardwoods come from deciduous trees featuring cells with a relatively large diameter, seeds with an ovary surrounding them and shorter wood fibers than conifers.


A header is a horizontal structural element designed to carry an opening’s load.


A horn refers to a jamb, sill or stile’s extension. You can find several horns, such as stile horns, jamb horns, sill horns and double horns.



A jamb is a door or window’s vertical peripheral frame.


A joint refers to two wood pieces joined together, with most joints using adhesives, nails or glue. People can connect joints from end to end or edge to edge. You can find various types of joints, such as tenon joints, coped joints, dado joints and butt joints.



A keystone is a vault or arch’s top wedge-shaped voussoir.


A kickplate refers to a polished, thin metal plate people apply to the bottom of either side of a door or rail. These kickplates help prevent soiling and denting to a wood surface when someone opens a door.

Knee Wall Molding

A knee wall molding is similar to a crown-like molding and designed for installation at oblique joints.


Lamb’s Tongue

A lamb’s tongue refers to a molded part featuring a protrusion.


Lattices are thin strips of woven wood or PVC with coating on all sides.

Lineal Foot

A lineal foot, or a running foot, is a 12-inch measurement of a molding. A lineal foot designates a molding’s length irrespective of its thickness or width.


A lip is a rounded overhanging edge. Generally, you’ll find them on drawers or cabinet doors, projecting beyond the door or cabinet’s surface or face in a closed position.



A mantle is a fireplace’s covering. They generally consist of marble, wood, bricks or stone and usually feature a shelf or plate protruding over them.


Millworker refers to products crafted primarily out of sawn wood in a carpentry plant or planing mill. Some common millwork products include door frames, shutters, windows, frames, stairs, shelves and cabinets.


A miter is a cut located at a linear part’s end. People tend to use these incline cuts to connect equally cut parts to a corner.


Moldings are narrow strips of curved wood designed to conceal angled or surface joints and accentuate a structure’s ornamentation. You can find interior and exterior moldings.


Sometimes called a mull, a mullion refers to a frame’s vertical element.



A newel is a rigid post located at a staircase’s landing and the primary post at the staircase’s beginning. You’ll often see starting newels and landing newels used today.

Newel Cap

Newel caps refer to a turned decorative top or cap made to allow a newel top’s pin or dowel to fit into it.

Newel Collar

A newel collar is a tuned wood collar used to lengthen some stair newels’ bases.


Panel Divider

A panel divider is a kind of molding designed to separate two vertical wooden panels.

Panel Mold

Millwork Glossary


A panel mold is a type of decorative mold used to create a wall’s elevated panels.


Polyvinyl chloride, more commonly referred to as PVC, is a kind of plastic material used to create molding.


Quarter Round

A quarter round is a kind of molding corresponding to one-quarter of a complete circle’s axis.



A rabbet refers to a groove cut near or on a piece of wood’s edge so another piece’s edge can fit.


A rail is a door or window’s horizontal member located at the window or door’s opening. You can find various types of rails, such as check rails, bottom rails and center rails.


A rosette is a turned decorative wooden panel installed at two materials’ intersection. You’ll find these panels attached to a wall and adjoined to a stair rail’s end.



A scallop is a decorative wooden element featuring a series of zones or curves shaped or sawn on its edges.

Shoe Molding

Shoe molding is a kind of molding placed at different members of a structure’s base.


A sill is a door frame or window’s lower horizontal member.



Trim refers to various types of moldings that finish off elements like fireplaces, openings and walls. You can multiple types of trims, such as standing trims, side trims and running trims.



A veneer is a thin layer of wood or sheet. Usually, veneers are rotary sawn, cut or sliced from a flitch, log or bolt.

Verge Board

A verge board is a kind of exposed member nailed along the rake of a gable-end roof’s open cornice.



A wainscot refers to an inner wall’s lower surface that rises from the upper wall’s surface. Generally, wainscots are three or four feet high.

Wall Base

A wall base is a molded part installed around a finished floor, running alongside the room’s circumference.

Window Molding

A window molding is a type of molding covering a window’s head or jambs.

Window Trim Terminology

A window trim is a trim or molding used to complete a window frame.


Woodwork is essentially synonymous with millwork, so you’ll sometimes see them used interchangeably.

Turn to Compass Hardwoods for Your Custom Millworking Needs

At Compass Hardwoods, we’re ready to handle your millworking needs, making a complicated project easy for you to manage. Our team of expert craftspeople can create architectural and custom millwork products for residential and commercial applications. Due to our ability to handle any size project and produce clean, high-quality final products, we’re a favorite of many builders, remodelers and furniture shops looking to receive millwork products fast, no matter how complex the job.

Review our commercial and residential millworking services. If you’re ready to set up a consultation and learn more about what we can do for you, contact us today.Millwork Glossary