End-Grain vs Face-Grain
Two broad types of cutting boards are available here: end-grain and face-grain. In face-grain boards, the fibers run mostly parallel to or along the face of the board. When you cut on theses boards, if you apply enough pressure, you can scar or even cut the fibers, leading to scarring on the surface of the board. With end-grain boards, the cutting surface is composed of the ends of the wood fibers. When you cut, the knife blade sinks between the fibers (for the most part) leading to much less scarring. This also makes end-grain boards easier on knives.
Caring for your Board
Boards can be cleaned by washing with warm soapy water, but they should never be left soaking in water. Never clean a board in the dishwasher. From time to time, the surface can be treated with a little mineral oil or beeswax. Do not use any kind of vegetable oil, as that will go rancid.