Real Wood Liners

The Perfect Finish

While the industry standard may be to cover the inside of rooflights with either cheap wood or plastic, here at Stella we understand that the internal appearance of your rooflight is as important as the external look, particularly for conservation projects. That's why we only ever use high quality natural real wood for our interior liners. Not only does this offer a stunning natural look finish, but also enhances their thermal performance.

Read more in our wood liner blog.

Our first choice timber for rooflights would be American Ash because it is both a sustainable and hardwearing, however, our customers have the option to select any timber that they wish.

American Ash

The American Ash used on a Stella rooflight tends to radiate a beautiful light to medium brown colour which compliments most interior designs and colour schemes. It has a medium to coarse texture similar to oak and the grain is almost always straight and regular.
​White Ash, an alternate name for American Ash, has excellent shock resistance which is why it is one of the most commonly used hardwoods for tool handles particularly in shovels and hammers where toughness and impact resistance is important.
American Ash would be our first choice of wood for customers who wish to have a painted liner finish.

This makes a Stella Rooflight the ideal choice for those looking for a low maintenance rooflight solution.

European Oak

Our European oak tends to hold a nice light to medium brown, commonly with an olive cast, though there can be a fair amount of variation in colour. Quarter sawn sections display prominent ray fleck patterns. Grain is straight, with a coarse, uneven texture.

Oak may have irregular or interlocked grain depending on growing conditions of the tree. Other uses of European oak can be seen in furniture, interior trim, flooring, boatbuilding, barrels, and veneer.

​Stella rooflight liners use European oak rather than English oak because it has fewer knots and blemishes. Although unique and often beautiful these traits are often seen as flaws in construction which is why we use the European version.

American Black Walnut

Another popular choice for our Stella rooflight liners is the American Black Walnut, otherwise known as Eastern Black Walnut. This wood can range from a lighter pale brown colour to a smooth dark chocolate brown with darker brown streaks. Figured grain patterns such as curl, crotch, and burl are also seen.

​The grain is usually straight, but can be irregular from time to time with a medium texture and a moderate natural lustre.

Black Walnut is extremely popular among woodworkers as its cooperative working characteristics, coupled with its rich brown coloration puts the wood in a class by itself among temperate-zone hardwoods. To cap it off, the wood also has good dimensional stability, shock resistance, and strength properties.

Western Red Cedar

The Western Red Cedar comes in reddish to pinkish browns which often have random streaks and bands of darker red/brown areas. Because of its low density and coarse texture, Cedar has incredibly good thermal and insulating properties. It is considered the best insulator amongst many other common softwood types and is far superior to brick, concrete, and steel. For this reason, it serves really well keeping your house warm in winter and has a great ability to dampen vibrations.

It is often used in the making of acoustical structures, making it perfect for panelling and moulding for the place where it’s needed to reduce or confine noise. Another prominent feature of cedar is a high decay resistance. The natural durability of western red cedar is due to the presence of extractives in it.

​Stella rooflight customers often choose Cedar for high moisture environments such as bathrooms and kitchens.


Using Utile for your Stella rooflight internal liner will give you a warm reddish-brown colour that provides an interlocked grain with a medium uniform texture and lacks any dramatic figuring of grain that is common in the closely related Sapele. Regarded as a high-class hardwood, Utile is a durable working material imported from West Africa.

Sometimes called Sipo Mahogany, or simply Sipo, Utile is in the Meliaceae family, and is somewhat related to the true mahoganies found in the Swietenia genus.

It responds incredibly well to glues, nails, stains and polishes and is perfect for furniture, joinery, cabinet making and exterior work. Utile offers all the strength of standard mahogany with a strikingly exotic and distinctive look.


The Meranti timber used for Stella rooflight liners starts its life as a pale yellowish-orange when freshly cut but as it goes through the aging process and becomes a beautiful golden yellow-brown. It has a coarse texture with medium to large pores and the grain is sometimes interlocked. It also contains a high level of silica which is over 0.5% of dried weight.

Sometimes referred to as Lauan wood in the Shorea genus it is very commonly used in Southeast Asia and there is an abundance of variety between the difference species: each with different working properties, appearances, and mechanical strength values.


The Sapele wood used for our rooflight liners is a golden to dark reddish brown. Besides the common ribbon pattern seen on quarter sawn boards the grain is interlocked, and sometimes wavy. Sapele is also known for a wide variety of other figured grain patterns, such as quilted, mottled, wavy, beeswing, and fiddleback. It has a fine uniform texture and good natural lustre.

Sapele is a commonly exported and an economically important African wood species. It is sold both in lumber and veneer form. Occasionally used as a substitute for genuine Mahogany, and sometimes referred to as Sapele Mahogany.

Technically, the two genera that are commonly associated with mahogany are Swietenia and Khaya, while Sapele is in the Entandrophragma genus, but all three are included in the broader Meliaceae family, so comparisons to true mahogany may not be too farfetched.

Painted Stella Rooflight Liners

Whilst we offer a range of stunning natural wood options for our liners, we understand that occasionally our customers may prefer to have a painted finish to match their interior décor. As such, we also offer a pre-painted liner finish to your required colour.

Our first choice of wood for painted rooflight liners is the American ash, or for bathrooms and high moisture areas, Cedar.

Our painted liners are produced using a high quality undercoat and two top coat finishes.

Wood sample boxes

While the above descriptions are intended to offer an indication of the main types of wood we offer, your screen resolution may have an impact on the appearance of the sample images shown. Therefore, we would recommend requesting one of our sample boxes prior to making a decision.

Meet Max

Max is Stella Rooflight’s senior carpenter and joiner. Combining traditional carpentry skills with the latest modern equipment, Max takes great pride in each job, personally selecting every piece of timber to produce individually crafted liners for our bespoke rooflights and skylights.

Why do you personally select each length of timber?

Each length of timber is individually selected for its structural and aesthetic qualities. I don't want any large knots or shakes (cracks). Each commission has its own requirements and determines its own specific timber qualities.

Why is American ash the most popular choice of timber for Stella rooflight liners?

American ash is a beautiful, natural and sustainable hardwood. It has a straight grain that is similar to Oak. It has a consistent grain pattern and colour. Ash usually has few knots and blemishes and those imperfections that are present often enhance the beauty of the wood.

Will I see any knots or blemishes in my liner?

Because I personally select each plank, every effort is made to select the best timber possible. You won't find any large knots on your liner but since timber is a natural product, each liner will be unique and may have slight variations in grain pattern. There will be occasional 'blemishes' which in my opinion add to the aesthetics of a natural product.

What is the best wood to use for my internal rooflight frame?

The most durable, commonly available wood to use, would be European Oak. It is naturally resistant to rot and has a beautiful grain pattern thanks to the medullary rays that run through the fibres. I would only use Prime and Super Prime quality Oak for the liners as it can be quite knotty.

Will the grain of the timber match on all my rooflights?

Each batch of liners is made from the same "stack" of timber. It's like selecting from the same batch of a product and thus ensuring that all the timber has come from the same source. Having said that, because this is a natural product, there may be very slight variations depending on the type of timber. The American Ash has a very consistent grain colour.

Can I paint my Stella rooflight liner at a later date?

You can paint your liner at a later date but you will have to prepare the timber first to allow the paint to adhere properly. This would involve degreasing and sanding the liner before applying a primer and topcoat.

How are the wooden frames assembled?

The wooden liners are assembled independently of the metal frames. Each corner is mitred, screwed with stainless steel screws and glued. I also use a domino biscuit that acts like a mortise and tenon joint. This belt and braces approach accounts for all the different forces that the liner may be subjected to. The wooden liners are designed not only to add to the aesthetics of your product but to the structural integrity of the frame.

How do I care for my Stella rooflight liner after installation?

Each liner is coated with an exterior rated, water based finish that offers a flexible, durable and micro porous protective film that is resistant to bacterial, mould and UV attack.

This means that no more than a wipe with a non abrasive damp cloth should be needed. If you want to use a cleaning product, it should be acid and bleach free.

Most wood specific cleaners will be suitable. If you have specific cleaning requirements, please don't hesitate to contact us.