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To select the kind of wood you want used on or in your home, you first need to know about the different kinds of wood. You can identify wood by its characteristics. Some woods are color or grain. Some woods should only be used for crates, while others can be used for homes, furniture or tools. Here is a list of different types of woods and their characteristics, so you can identify them.

Ash is a light-colored, tough wood. It is highly elastic which makes it good for furniture or paneling. It also finishes well.

There are two types of cedar, Eastern and Western. Western cedar is a lightweight wood that is easy to work. Its high resistance to decay makes it ideal for siding, patios, decks, or shingles.

Eastern cedar has the same high resistance to decay, but it has a distinct odor. That's why most people use these for chests. But, Eastern cedar also makes good closet linings and other furniture. Eastern cedar can also vary in color.

You know this wood is aged when it reaches that dark red everyone hopes for. The close grained wood also resists warping, which makes it perfect for quality furniture, including tables, chairs and cases.

Fir has moderate resistance to decay. This easily worked wood finishes well. Both make it good for frames, veneer or trim work.

Although this wood is very resistant to decay, it is too lightweight for much outdoor uses. It's better for paneling, framing, door work, or crates.

Hickory is a very strong wood, but it is susceptible to decay and insects. This light colored wood is used best for tool handles, something sealed so insects cannot reach it.

Mahogany is also a red wood. Its beautiful color and fine grains make it perfect for cabinets or furniture. It also resists warping and is easy to work with.

Maple has such a fine texture and close grains, you see it used in bowling alleys, flooring and bowling pins. It is a strong wood that machines well and is shock resistant.

If you don't already know, oak is one of the strongest woods. That's why it is used for flooring, structural supports and furniture. It is also deep grained and moisture resistant.

Pine is used in many household items because it has such a uniform, smooth texture. It also resists warping and finishes well. Many people use it for their molding, cabinets or actual construction of their home.

This California - West Coast wood is lightweight and easy to use. But because of its low structural strength it is best for paneling, siding, decks or outdoor furniture. It is resistant to decay and moisture.

This strong wood decays easily. It is made into ladders or boxes and crates.

This durable wood must be imported. It is so resistant to moisture and decay it works great for boats, flooring, or furniture.

Walnut has such a great color to it, you see it used for paneling, veneering, or framing. It is moderately strong, and can be used for furniture as well.