When selecting a wood countertop from a sample you need to understand that the 5”x7” sample represents only a small fraction of not only a full size countertop but also the stick of wood it came from and then in a very broad sense the species of wood it is. There is also issue of oxidation, the darkening of wood from oxygen and UV light. This absolutely affects the color of the sample your working off of as it may be months or years old.
The variation of color in this section of hickory countertop is a good illustration of the amount of difference that can occur within one board.
The variation in this sapele top is what makes it so beautiful.
Bottom line is be open to color variation when deciding on a wooden counter. Wood’s variation is one of its most interesting characteristics and one of its most frustrating ones if you don’t plan for it. If a very accurate color match is desired a wood stain can be applied to most woods to shift its color toward a desired look. For that all we need is a physical sample to work from. I hope this helps all the designers out there working with wood countertops, hopefully specifying J. Aaron as the supplier.
This dark walnut top shows a more subtle variation in color.