Finish carpentry glossary of terms.
APRON: Moulding applied immediately below the stool or
sill of windows or wall caps.
ASTRAGAL: An interior moulding attached to one of a
pair of doors or sash to prevent swing through, also a small
moulding or bead encircling a column or post below the
capital of cap.
BACKBAND: A narrow rabbited moulding applied to the
outside edges of interior window and door casing to create a
larger moulding appearance. Useful when using a thicker
chair or baseboard.
BALUSTER: Square or turned spindle like vertical stair
member supporting the stair rail
BALUSTRADE: A railing consisting of a series of
balusters resting on a base and supporting a continuous
BASEBOARDS: Baseboards run along the wall at the
floor. Baseboards should be chosen to work in harmony
with your casings to finish and tie the room together.
Baseboards are usually thinner than the casing.
BASE SHOES: Base shoes are primarily used to trim
flooring materials and are often used in combination with a
traditional baseboard to conceal variations between the
flooring and the base. However, this versatile profile works
great to solve numerous trimming needs.
BEADED CEILING: A popular profile used often as
wainscot paneling. Combined with a chair rail or cap mould
and a baseboard, beaded ceiling makes a distinctive
BRICKMOULDS: Brickmoulds are used as exterior
casing around doors. 2” is the most common size however,
it is available in 1-1/2 and 2-1/4 inch sizes.
BUILD-UPS: Combining two or more moulding profiles to
create a new or custom look . Also called stacking, build-
ups make it easy to create the look of custom made
trim work without the high cost.
BULLNOSE: A term used to describe the eased edges of
trim and stops. A single bull nose stop would have one
eased edge and a square edge back. A double bull nose
stop would have two eased edges.
CASED OPENING: An interior opening without a door
that is finished with jambs and trim
CASEWORK: All the parts that constitute a finished case
or cabinet, inclusive of the doors, drawers or shelves
CASING: Casings define the overall character of a room
and are often the most visible part of the trim. Casings are
used primarily to cover the gap between drywall and the
door or window frame. Casings are generally thicker than
the base moldings.
CEILING TRIM: Ceiling trims can be designed from
panel moulds or chair rails run around the perimeter of the
side walls in many different layouts.
CHAIR RAILS: Chair rails have a decorative and practical
function. Applied to a wall anywhere from 24 to 48 inches
from the floor, they are a beautiful accent to the room, while
also protecting the wall from scuffs and dents from the
backs of chairs.
COFFERED CEILING: Usually refer to a grid-work of
beams with crown molding. They can be any size and
design, limited only by your imagination. Coffered ceilings
add a refining touch to a room that cannot be imitated.
COPED JOINT: A joint at the meeting of moulding
CORNERMOULDING: This profile is used to protect
outside edges from damage and abrasion. Outside corners
come in a variety of sizes and detail.
COVEMOULDING: This profile has a wide range of
uses, it is most commonly used to soften the transition on
inside corners. A concave profile
CROWNS: Crowns usually run along the wall at the
ceiling. Crowns come in a wide range of sizes and patterns.
Crowns soften the transition from wall to ceiling while
adding a distinctive look and charm to most rooms.
DADO: A rectangular groove cut across the grain of the
DENTIL: A moulding pattern with a series of closely
spaced rectangular blocks and spaces. Used especially in
FINISH BOARDS: Finish boards come in either S4S
(surfaced four sides) or S3S (surfaced three sides) and are
used for a multitude of purposes including shelving, window
liner, bases, casing, etc.
FULL ROUNDS: Full rounds are used for numerous
purposes and projects. Some of the more common uses are
closet poles, curtain rods and towel rods.
HALF ROUNDS: A cross section of this profile looks like
a half circle and is used primarily as decorative trim. It
works well as a trim piece for wall paper or to add a
decorative pattern to flat panels. This profile can also be
used to put a rounded edge on 3/4” shelving.
HANDRAILS: Handrails provide safety and support while
going up or down stairs.
LATTICE: Lattice strips are thin pieces of flat moulding
that come in several widths and are used for a multitude of
uses. Among the most common uses are to hide seams,
edge trim, etc.
MITRE JOINT: the joining of two members at an angle
that bisects the angle of junction
MDF: MEDIUM-DENSITY-FIBREBOARD: A panel
manufactured from fibres that is used in casework for built-
ins, closet shelving and capboards.
NEWEL: The main post at the start of a stair rail and at the
intersection of the rails at landings and balconies. A Newel
PANELMOULDS: Panelmoulds are used to frame wall
paneling and add a decorative element to this type of
application. Panelmoulds also add accent to walls.
PILASTER: A rectangular, circular, or semi-circular
member used as a simulated column in entrances,
doorways, mantles, etc., usually contains a base, shaft and
PLINTH BLOCK: A base block used at the intersection
of the baseboard and vertical trim of a doorway or cased
QUARTER ROUNDS: Quarter rounds come in several
sizes and serve a variety of functions but are most often
used to finish inside corners.
RETURN: Term used to indicate the method of carrying a
mouldings detail from the front of the moulding back to the
wall. Generally a 45 degree cut is made to the front of the
long moulding and an opposite 45 is cut on a small piece to
carry the detail to the wall.
ROSETTE: A block used at the corners of casings
ROUGH OPENING: The opening formed by the framing
SCRIBING: Drawing a line parallel with an existing
surface; fitting millwork to an irregular surface
SCREENMOULD: A very versatile profile; screenmould
fits a wide variety of needs and uses. Traditionally used to
hold mesh screening into woodscreens, it also works well as
edge trim on 3/4” shelving or wood trim for wall paper etc.
SHOE: A small moulding applied at the base of various
members of a structure, usually baseboard
SQUARES AND PARTING BEADS: Another group of
versatile profiles, squares and parting beads are used in a
wide range of applications. Among the many uses of these
profiles are to fill gaps, transition heights, etc. This profile
is also used in numerous craft projects.
STILE: The upright or vertical outside pieces of a sash or
STOPS: Stops are used in door and window applications to
“stop” the door or window. Stops come in a wide range of
widths in single bullnose (one eased edge) or double
bullnose (two eased edges).
TOE KICK: A recessed space at the base of a kitchen /
WAINSCOTING: Trimwork installed in the area below a
chair rail. Numerous options are available including raised
panel, shadow box and beaded ceiling. Combined with a
chair rail and baseboard wainscoting creates a dramatic
look to any room.
WINDOWCASING: Trim that borders the edges of a
window frame. Casings define the overall character of the
room and are often the most visible part of the trim.
WINDOW STOOL: The surface installed below the sash
of a window. Also called window sill. Trim installed under
window stool creates a distinctive look and adds a