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What Should I Consider When Buying a Pool Table?

By Sheri Cyprus
Updated May 23, 2024
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A pool table can be the perfect addition to a recreation room in a home. Even some offices have a pool table for employees to play cue sports during coffee and lunch breaks. The room, type of play, and construction quality are all important considerations when buying a pool table.

Buying a pool table is similar to buying functional piece of furniture such as a sofa. You want the piece to suit your style and the style of your room, yet at the same time you want the piece to be durable through its usage. The sturdiest pool tables have a beam running down the middle of the table that connects with the crossing beams. A center beam gives good support to both the slate pool table top as well as to the entire table, but be sure the table you buy does not just have a "drop-in" beam as that is unsupported and purely cosmetic.

Veneer can be just as good as solid wood and adds a protective coating to the wood. However, the wood used underneath the veneer is important as it adds strength to the pool table. Wood-laminated lumber construction is stronger and more durable than dimensional lumber construction in a pool table. Wood-laminated lumber is glued hardwood stock, while dimensional lumber is only squared and milled.

Larger sized pool tables offer more challenge. The width of the playing surface of any size of pool table should always be half of the table's length so that official regulation standards are met. The rails on a pool table should have a hard core wood construction to give a good ball response that allows for fast play. Full profile, canvas-backed K66 cushioning is the standard as it is designed for accurate play.

Quality pool tables weigh up to 1,000 pounds (453.6 kg). Be sure the floor you are considering putting the table on can handle the weight of the table and players walking around it. Weaker floors may flex slightly which may affect the balance of the table.

You need at least 5 feet (1.524 m) around the pool table to allow enough space for cue shots. Pool tables are commonly available in 6' (1.829 m), 7' (2.134 m), 8' (2.438 m), and 9' (2.743 m) sizes, with the 7' (2.134 m) being the most popular. Many finishes are available, such as whitewashed wood or dark mahogany, to complement every taste and room style.

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Discussion Comments
By MrSmirnov — On May 15, 2011

If you are considering buying a pool table, be aware that even the best models require upkeep. The felt replacement for the playing field can get expensive, at around $200USD a pop to recover the surface. You can get the felt on sale occasionally and try to do it yourself, but it is still costly.

Some accessories you should consider when getting your pool table include a matching cue rack, chalk, a scoreboard, ball rack and a bridge. You can also create a great environment with the right pool table lighting.

I believe that if you are going to play pool in your home, you may as well go all out and have a great set up. It’s perfect for entertaining.

By letshearit — On May 14, 2011

For those of you that are looking to buy a pool table for your family you can get inexpensive ones for under $500USD.

These pool tables are not suitable for a luxury club house feel, but are great if you have teenagers who want to play.

For those most part, inexpensive pool tables are made out of a cheaper wood and require you to assemble them yourself. They also may be less sturdy and require a bit more upkeep.

These things aside, there are bonuses to purchasing a low-cost option. They often come with balls and pool cues. While once again, not great quality, they still make for a great family activity or something to keep the kids occupied.

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