How to Buy a Pool Table

When you buy a pool table, you're making an investment because the tables can cost a lot of money especially if you purchase one designed for tournament play. A recreational pool table will cost less than a professional one, but it won't have the same quality of material. When deciding how to buy a pool table, consider the size of the room you'll keep the table in, how much you can afford to spend, and what you plan to use the table for.


  1. Image titled Buy a Pool Table Step 1
    Measure the room where you plan to put the billiards table.
    • Allow for at least 5 feet (1.52 m) of clearance on all sides of the recreational pool table so that players have room to use a cue stick.
    • Pool tables come in a range of sizes from 7 to 9 feet (2.13 to 2.74 m) long. The length of the billiards table is twice its width. If you get an 8-foot-long (2.44 m) table, your room should be 14 feet (4.27 m) by 18 feet (5.49 m).
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    Decide on the maximum amount of money you will spend on a recreational pool table.
    • Your maximum price will help you determine what materials you can afford. A pool table at the lower end of the price range usually has a playing surface made of particle board, while mid-range priced tables and higher-priced tables have slate playing surfaces. A low-cost billiards table may only last a few years, while the more-expensive option may have a lifetime guarantee.
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    Do your research! Make sure you take the time to really search the internet to get as much information about your favorite pool table as possible. There is a lot of information and reviews out there from people that have personally used certain pool tables and will be able to tell you how good or bad they are.
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    Make a list of the features you want in a billiards table.
    • Consider the type of playing surface you want or can afford, whether it is slate, synthetic slate, honeycomb, or particleboard. Slate is the most durable option, but it is also the most expensive. Synthetic slate, honeycomb, and plywood don't have the shelf life of slate but may cost a lot less. Surfaces that aren't slate can warp as they age while a slate surface should stay level and won't wear down.
    • Determine the material you want the frame, rails, and bumpers to be. Wooden frames and rails are pricey but provide a better playing surface and can withstand a lot of rigor and use. Particleboard rails are usually sufficient for a recreational pool table, although they may need the fabric replaced on them. While professional pool tables must have rubber cushions, if you are using pool for recreational use only, you can buy a table with synthetic cushions.
    • Buy a pool table with cloth that weighs between 18 and 22 oz. (510 and 623 g) for the most strength and durability. The cloth that covers the pool table should be made of wool or a combination of wool and nylon. Wool slows down the balls on the table while the nylon adds strength and prevents the cloth from tearing. Cheaper pool tables will have fabric made only of nylon, which should give you a smooth surface for a few years.
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    Visit a billiards center or sporting goods store to check out what they have to offer. Test-drive the billiards table before you purchase it.
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    Consider delivery and assembly. Make sure you are prepared to make this step as easy as possible. Ask a friend or 2 to help. Rent a dolly. Pay a moving company. Whatever is going to make it the safest and easiest.

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Categories: Home Decorating