Pool Table Slate Thickness: ¾ Inch vs 1 Inch

¾” slate vs 1” slate; how big of a difference can ¼” make right? Well, the thickness of your slate can have a big impact on the ability of your pool table to maintain a level surface and the way the ball rolls. You heard that right! Experienced players can tell the difference between ¾” and 1” slate as the ball will actually roll smoother. Weight is also plays a key factor in pool table installment, a fact that any billiards/pool table installer will tell you.

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¾” Slate vs 1” Slate

1” slates are 33% heavier than ¾” slate. [.25/.75 = .33] 1 inch slate is 1/4 larger than 3/4 slate. Divide the 1/4 increase into the 3/4 original size for an accurate size and weight increase. This eases the installation process significantly because the weight of the slate will pull each piece (assuming it’s a 3 piece) to the floor and keep it there. Now we’re not saying that ¾” slates are bad because they’re not. ¾” slate is okay for smaller 7’ pool tables but for larger tables, you’ll want the 1” that is thicker, heavier, and easier to level.

The BCA requires that all tournament pool tables consist of 3 piece 1” slate. There’s one other less common option however. Some tables use 7/8” slate as a substitute for 1” slate and honestly, it’s pretty close to the real thing. Yet and still, 1” slate is the best way to go as it won’t warp and it creates less friction when the ball is rolling on the table. The added weight also means the table won’t move when you lean into it.

As it’s thicker, 1” slate is better if you plan to move the table around a lot. Thinner tables can be a bit more fragile and can break more easily. The thicker slate is more reliable and it has a more reliable bounce since the table is heavier.

Framed (Backed) slate vs non-framed slate

Framed 1” slate is the most expensive but you can still find a 1” Brazilian slate table. 1” framed slate stays level, it’s heavier, and cloth is able to keep a tight and smooth fit.

The frame means that the cloth can be attached to the back of the table. In contrast, cloth must be glued to unframed slate. The glue will come undone leading to poor quality fitting and cloth that will become loose. Framed slate is much better then unframed slate and should always be chosen whenever possible.


1” slate means the ball will roll smoother, it will have a more consistent bounce, it’s more durable, the table won’t move, and it’s easier to level. Whew! Got any questions? Leave a comment and we’ll get right back to you!

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More Pool Table Tips:

  1. The Pool Table Buyers Guide
  2. Pool Tables: Carpet or Hardwood Floors?
  3. What is the Best Size Pool Table to Have?