Maple is a hardwood with a tight grain and a much less noticeable figure, which is desired by those who want less grain characteristics in their kitchens. Maple has a smoother texture and fine grain pattern compared to other hardwoods like Cherry or Alder. Maple does have varying areas of density which creates a somewhat mottles appearance when stained in darker colors. Maple wood may have mineral streaks and small knot – like marks. Maple wood can come in a variety of stains and may yellow with age.