What’s the difference between millwork and casework? Typically, these two terms are used to refer to cabinetry. Though they both refer to the same type of product, the final result is very different, as is the cost. Casework refers to ready-made cabinets, shelving, or storage. Millwork is custom made woodwork. Traditionally the term refers to woodwork that is produced in a mill.
Casework is often what is used in laboratories, where uniformity is important. It is made with standard dimensions and measurements. Casework can arrive on-site completely assembled, or partially assembled.
Casework essentially involves making boxes. It is the assembly of box-shaped wood. Casework is not custom made and is generally used for modular purposes. The assembly of casework also makes it different from custom millwork. Customers are usually provided pre-fabricated furniture pieces that have to be assembled to create the final product. They are mass produced and manufactured with pre-defined measurements and dimensions. Casework is less expensive than custom millwork. Modular options in casework are constantly changing to meet the needs of updating research methods.
Millwork is a great option for spaces that want a custom look, or have complicated dimensions. You will very rarely find millwork in a lab space, as it is more expensive. Since it is not always consistent, it doesn’t make sense for a space that requires uniformity the way a lab does. The inconsistency is also why it can be more expensive than casework. Woodworkers need to be sure to purchase enough of a single wood product to finish the job, as the results between different types of the same wood can differ greatly. It also doesn’t always mean cabinets. Any woodwork that is created in a mill is categorized as millwork. This includes any wood panels, doors, molding, trim, and even flooring.
Casework, though less custom than millwork, still comes with many options. Solids and veneers in different woods are available to create any design in the science lab or classroom. Stainless steel lab casework is easy to sanitize and ideal for healthcare, biological, agricultural, food, petroleum and photo labs. It is also a good choice for radioactive and clean room applications, or any lab that needs sterilization. Laminate cabinets are known for their strength and durability.
Traditionally, lab furniture designs are made to accommodate researchers and instruments. Most frequently, they feature a combination of traditional steel casework, tables, benches, mobile carts, and casework systems. If you’re beginning a renovation and would like more information on whether you should be looking for casework or millwork, the experts at H2I Group will walk you through the process. If you’re thinking custom millwork might be right for you, H2I Group also has a talented group of woodworkers nationwide. They can help with any type of millwork project.