Most people are familiar with a wood surface in the form of a table top or piece of furniture. Most of these, even very high end pieces, are made of laminated plywood and veneer. They do this because it is very structurally stable, meaning it moves little in changing climates. A solid wood counter is different. It is made up of large volume planks of wood that can expand and contract up to a ¼" throughout the year. This can causes glue joints to have texture and can cause a top to warp if it's not properly sealed and secured to its base. These are all natural movements and are by no means defects in the top.
Wood, as you know, is a natural product. We do not stain our countertops like most cabinet companies or furniture manufactures. This means that if you're working from one of our samples the actual product you get can vary in color. That's not to say we just use the wood we get and call it a day. Color consistency within a top is important to us and we go through several boards before having enough wood to fabricate the top we're working on.
Wood has texture and it will vary from board to board and even within the same board. Wood grain will be denser in some areas and more open in others. This is typical of all woods and is not considered a defect.
Throughout the year as humidity levels change glue joints may start to have a texture to them. This does not mean they are coming apart. It is simply the natural movement of wood.
Some woods have more knots than others but most have some. When we put together a top we remove as many of these as possible but most tops will still have a few. These are part of counter top's character and are not considered defects. If you prefer your counter top has no knots please specify that when getting a quote.
Checks are cracks in the wood grain. They are not on the glue joint. Solid wood countertops and butcher block will do this from time to time, whether it's our counter top or someone elses, and it is not considered a defect. To repair a small check you can use a furniture wax stick. To repair a larger check apply TiteBond II wood glue to the area and let it soak into the crack. After it has reached capacity use a damp cloth to remove any excess glue.