Pool slate provides the playing surface you need to fully enjoy a game of pool, but it’s a piece of the table you need to keep in mind to avoid constant damage and repair. The material warps when its weight eventually collapses on itself, but you can take precautions to prevent slate from warping.
While it’s inevitable cue balls will be dropped onto the table, slate in actuality can endure a lot, and re-leveling the table or consulting your local billiard shop can solve any warps.
What is Pool Slate?
Pool table slate is a stone slab underneath the felt of a pool table. It is largely a waterproof material, and provides cue balls with a frictionless roll.
READ: The Complete Guide to Pool Table Slate
If you’re trying to maintain a pool table, an issue you might have to deal with is the slate warping. When pool table slate warps, it can collapse on itself or no longer fit into the table, becoming unevenly leveled and making any game nearly impossible.
How Does Slate Warp?
Tables come in two varieties: one-piece and three-piece pool slate. One-piece slate is a large, seamless slab that is hard to move and tends to sag or warp over time. On the other hand, some tables have a separated three-piece slate. This allows players to level pieces individually if the floor that the table is on is unleveled. Due to the lighter weight of individual pieces, three-piece slate tends to not warp.
When slate warps, it tends to sag, meaning the center collapses while the surrounding stone remains level, or crown, meaning the center will remain stationary while the rest of the slate collapses.
What Causes Slate to Warp?
Abusing your pool equipment is one way to warp the slate. For example, continuously dropping the cue balls onto the table is both damaging to the balls and the stone underneath. This can be avoided by setting up cue balls properly, or ensuring children aren’t playing around with precious equipment.
Avoid using the pool table as a coaster for your or your guests’ icy drinks. Slate is only a nearly waterproof material, meaning after continuous exposure to moisture it can still become warped. In rooms with warmer temperatures, the process of water absorption is sped up, so be sure to keep your table in a room that’s always cool.
How to Prevent Slate from Warping
Practicing good table maintenance will help make your pool table last for the years to come. If you want to prevent the table slate from working, make sure you
- Don’t drop cue balls onto the table, make sure you set them gently
- Don’t let children or pets walk on the table
- Don’t place anything except for the cue balls and triangle on the table
- Don’t spill food or drinks onto the table
- Maintain a cool, constant temperature in the room that your pool table is in
Can Warping Be Repaired?
If your cue balls are not stopping true after being struck, be sure to take into account other factors before assuming that the table slate has warped. Other factors to think about include but are not limited to:
- The floor of the room is not perfectly level
- The wooden frame (cabinet) has warped and can’t house the slate properly
- The felt is torn or was not laid properly
If the rest of the room and table’s hardware seems to be in order, you can check the slate to see if it has warped. How the table has warped is also a deciding factor on whether or not it can even be repaired. For example, slate with minor sags or crowns can be re-leveled to maintain a smooth playing surface. On the other hand, if there is a more prominent warp, contact a local billiards store for suggestions, and avoid tampering with the slate further to prevent damage.
Gaming, maintenance, and purchasing advice are all available at your fingertips at GameTablesOnline.com. Here, you’ll be able to supply yourself with the knowledge and equipment you need to become the next pool star. Shop for a new pool table today!
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