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Guidelines for Buying a Pool Table

Dhanashree Patane Mar 22, 2020
If you are an ardent pool fan, and if you are planning to buy your very own pool table, here is what you need to look for. Here is a quick guide to buying a pool table. Let us take a look.

Did You Know?

The first indoor pool table was commissioned by King Louis XI of France (1461-1483). By the mid 1700s, the popularity of this new table grew as the French nobles helped spread it to every cafe.
Pool, a popular cue-sport throughout the United States, is the common term used for pocket billiards. Today, pool is enjoyed by people of all walks of life, and poolrooms have become a place for people to meet socially. Also, having a pool table at home is becoming a popular trend, as more and more enthusiasts want to enjoy this sport in their own house.
If you have decided to buy a pool table, there are certain factors you should consider. One of the important factors to consider is the price, but if you want a durable, good quality, and classy table, there are many other things that you should consider before buying. The following tips will guide you to buying a good pool table.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Pool Table

Intended use

▶ Buying a pool table means a decent investment. The budget is going to be important, so choose a table based on the amount of usage. If you are an occasional player, tables made with average quality wood, cloth, and lamination, could be considered. This may not always be the best option, but, at times, these tables may last longer due to occasional use.
▶ There are also mid-range tables meant for people with more enthusiasm for the game. Mid-range tables are made of good quality material. They also come in variety of colors and finishes.
▶ The next range is the premium range of tables. These are made of the best quality materials, and have a superior finish. They are extremely durable and are the best choice for professionals, and those who play regularly.
▶ If you are buying the table for your kids, then a small investment should be fine. If adults and professionals are the intended users, then you can consider buying a good quality, expensive pool table.

The make of the table

▶ The legs of the table should be made of solid wood. The frame that holds the table should be strong and durable. Many people are of the opinion that, solid wood frames last longer than MDF frames.
However, today, with enhanced manufacturing techniques, even an MDF frame can last as long as solid wood frames. Whatever the frame, solid wood or MDF, if the make of the table is good, it will last longer. You can opt for tapered or straight frames, both are equally strong and durable.
▶ When checking the frame of the table, make sure you also check the beams. A good quality frame will have center beams running through the length of the table. Two cross beams are also visible, due to the distribution of weight on sides of the table. Make sure these beams are present, to ensure quality.
▶ The rails of the table should be made of solid wood, with cushions of the railings made of K-66 profile, and BCA approved. It should also have a tack strip so that it makes space for the staples, when felting the rail.
The railings should always be of solid wood, because this influences the way the ball bounces off the rails. Check the bolts attaching the rails, they should run all the way up the frame.
▶ One of the most important part of the table is the slate. Usually, the slate of the pool table comes in one-piece or three-piece. A one-piece slate is fairly rare. A slate divided into three-pieces is perhaps best, as it ensures proper leveling of the table.
The standard thickness is usually 1", which is also the approved measurement by BCA. However, slates come in different sizes. opt for the standard slate size. Slate usually comes in a wood backing or without it, and is extremely heavy (150 to 160 pounds approx).
▶ Check the cloth covering the table. Usually, a good quality cloth is made up of wool and nylon. This cloth covers the playing surface, so it is very important that the cloth be of good quality, with a perfect blend of wool and nylon.
▶ The slate, rails, and cushions are the three major parts that you need to check before buying the pool table. Make sure these three things are at their best for a good, long-lasting table.


▶ Deciding the size of the table is also important. Most tables come in sizes of 7 feet, 8 feet, and 9 feet long. Also, added to the surface sides are rails. So, add another 4 to 5 inches to the width of the table.
Decide where the pool table will be kept. Depending on which, you can decide the size of the table. There should be enough room left around the table for players to play comfortably.
▶ As it ages, the quality of the table gets affected by the space or room where it is placed. Try to keep the table in a cool, dry area, as moisture does affect the quality of the table.

Other important tips

▶ After you finalize the table, you may also ask the salesperson whether the table is going to be shipped fully assembled or in parts. Experts recommended that the table should be shipped fully assembled, because it maintains the structural integrity of the pool table.
However, one has to also consider how the table will be shipped inside your house. Ensure that the door is not too narrow for moving an assembled table inside the room.
▶ If the table is shipped in parts, always ask a professional to set and align the table for you. It may cost you extra money, but assembly by a professional is always beneficial. If the table is not aligned well, it will affect the quality of your game.
So, finally you have decided to buy a pool table, and hope you have understood what to look for. Remember that, the table is always going to be your best investment in cherishing your love for the game.