Hard Maple is exactly as its name implies—very hard and dense. As a cabinet wood, we tend to steer away from it. Its density makes application of moderate to dark stains difficult to apply evenly. The rolling of the grain causes the dense wood to accept stain a bit unevenly, creating a “blotchy” look. The only way to avoid this is to apply finish much like a furniture company does, by the use of dyes and tinted finish to make the blotchiness essentially non-existent. As a butcher block countertop though, it works great. The dense grain is resistant to wear and is a great choice for a top that will receive hard wear and tear.