Commonly called butcher block. Full counters can be made with this material. You will also find it as the surface on an island with other materials over the cabinet counters, or it may be built as an inset in a countertop made of another material.
Countertops can be made of Eastern Hard Rock Sugar Maple, Western Maple, or Western Alder. Western Maple and Western Alder are softer woods and are more likely to wear with use.
There are three basic grain patterns found in laminated wood countertops. The most common is a full-length edge grain. The pattern has long unbroken strips of wood laminated in a single block. The widths of the wood strips remain constant in this pattern. Butt-joined edge grain countertops have strips of various lengths connected end-to-end to create the countertop. End grain lamination style blocks have the look of a checkerboard and are normally used only in counter inserts.
You will find this countertop material in three finish styles: Unfinished, Pre- finished, and sealed with varathane. Products with a varathane finish should not be used as a chopping surface and should not be placed in a location where food will come in contact with it. Pre-finished is an easier surface for the client to maintain. The unfinished surface requires weekly oiling and daily care to ensure a sanitary workspace.
Courtesy of NARI CKBR education materials