Buying a pool table is an investment. While there are cheap recreational billiards tables out there, most people choose to purchase models designed to last a lifetime. In fact, a high-quality table becomes a family heirloom, like a grandfather clock or grand piano, so it’s important to consider your options carefully.
In this pool table buyers guide, you’ll find the key factors to consider when purchasing the perfect high-quality pool table.
When buying a pool table, it’s important to consider how much space you have. Tables are available in lengths ranging from 6-9’ with varied widths. When measuring your space, remember that you’ll also need plenty of room on all sides for players to move around and aim their long cue sticks. Consult this spacing guide for measuring tips, and then shop pool tables by size at GamesTablesOnline.
High-quality billiards tables are made with slate. Although there are plenty of cheaper playfield surfaces available, quality slate is built to last. 3/4″ inch slate is industry standard, though professionals play on slate with 1”-1.25” thickness. The thicker the slate, the higher quality the table, and thus the longer it will last. Learn more about slate by reading The Complete Guide to Pool Table Slate and learn the difference between 1 piece and 3 piece slate.
A good slate needs a good frame to support it. Most frames are made from wood, with hardwood being the highest quality option. The standard frame for a 3/4” slate uses two crossbeams, but for a thicker slate, you’ll need quad beam construction. This helps maintain the perfect playing field and prevent the slate from warping over time.
Sturdy legs are crucial to your pool table’s durability. The legs need to support not just the heavy slate and frame, but also the players who lean against or sit on the billiards table while gathered around for a game. There are two main types of leg.
The best is the post leg, which is constructed of a solid piece of wood from floor to frame. The two-piece option is made detachable like the name suggests, with a break between the leg and frame. While this is industry standard, it does decrease the table’s stability.
Solid wood rails are the clear choice for rail durability, but choosing the right material for long-lasting cushion lining is less obvious. The cushion provides balls with a natural rebound off the table’s railings. There are two main materials for the cushion: synthetic vs. natural gum rubber. Both provide good rebound for the balls when you start out, but over time you’ll start to notice a difference.
The fabric that covers a pool table is typically made from a blend of wool and nylon. The wool gives it a fuzzy texture, and the nylon makes it tear-resistant. It’s also common to have the fabric coated in Teflon to make it stain resistant. Good quality billiard cloth will weigh 18-22 ounces per yard.
You can find many different types of pool table felt online made in different styles and easily customizable to personalize for your home or office.
When buying a pool table, most models come equipped with the essentials: balls, cues, chalk, and a triangle. However, there are plenty of other accessories you can add on to any model—cue racks, cue cases, and other deluxe pool table accessories. Visit GameTablesOnline.com to find all your pool table needs or give us a call and we’ll help you find the right table for your needs.