Pool Table Buyer's Guide
How to Buy a Pool Table
Buying a pool table is a big undertaking. There are multiple sizes, styles, and quality levels available. You can plan what table to buy by knowing your spending limits, measuring the room you’ll put the table in, and considering what type of table is best for you. Get the right table for your needs by shopping at a store with knowledgeable people, checking out the manufacturing specifications, and getting a warranty for your product. A pool table is more than a source of entertainment, it is a piece of furniture than can enhance your room. You can make an informed purchase and get the most out of your pool table.
Setting Guidelines for Your Purchase
Decide on the primary purpose of the table.Pool tables run the entire gamut from small, cheap toy tables meant for kids to learn on, to elaborately designed tournament size tables. The huge range of designs and quality levels means a wide range of prices. You don’t need a top of the line model for your kids, but you don’t want a cheap wobbly table for serious practice, either. If you intend the table for serious, consistent play, shop accordingly.
- Cheaper tables can be a good option for many people, but pay attention to the fact that they may only last a few years. If you want something that will last a long time, think of buying a better table as an investment in your family.
- The purpose of your table will be the first guide in deciding what pool table to buy.
Choose which room the pool table will go in.Deciding which room is important mainly due to size constraints, but which room the pool table goes in has other effects too. Putting it in a basement, garage, or game room that is away from your main living area can be a good idea due to the noise of playing the game. However, if you want to purchase an ornate table, it can be a centerpiece that brings the room together.
- Some people worry about putting a pool table in an upstairs room or finished attic, but most tables do not weigh enough to cause problems. For example, an average model may weigh about 1000 pounds, which is only as much as 4-5 grown men.
- If you have a large living room with a TV and seating concentrated to one half of the room, the pool table could help balance the room by being placed on the other half.
Measure the room.Find out how long and how wide the room is and be sure to write it down so you have a record for later. Pool table sizes are typically made to “regulation size,” which means that the length is 2x the width, i.e. 8 foot tables are 4 feet wide. Make sure the room you want to put the table in can accommodate it, including extra room around the table.
- Plan for 5 extra feet on each side of the table to give you room to maneuver the cue stick when shooting. Not accounting for this extra space will making actually playing on your table really hard.
- For example, an 8x4 foot table needs a room that is 18 feet by 14 feet to give you enough room on all sides.
Set a spending limit.Pool tables can range from a few hundred dollars to over ,000, so it’s important to know your budget. For a pretty basic model made of low-quality materials, expect to pay about 0 on the low end or up to about 00. For a mid-range model constructed of quality materials, you’ll probably pay around 00-00.
- If you just want something fun for the kids that will last a few years, you will definitely have some cheap, lower quality options. If you want something that will last most of your life, you will be looking at the more expensive models.
- The materials the table is made of will be the primary factor that affects price. Whether it is solid wood or a veneer, slate or particle board are a couple of the main material choices. Surfaces that aren't slate can warp as they age while a slate surface will stay level and won't wear down.
- A reasonable baseline for a medium quality table is about 00-00.
Shopping for Pool Tables
Go to the right store.Although sporting good stores and even department stores often sell pool tables, you will most likely get someone who doesn’t know much about what you need. If you want to buy something in the quick and easy way, this is probably fine, but if you want to get a quality table and know what you are getting, a specialty store will be best. Go to a hobby store or leisure store that specializes in rec room features like pool tables. You’ll be more likely to get some with specific knowledge to help you pick out the right table.
- If going to a specialty store is not a viable option, have an idea of some specific brands and tables you want before you go. Once you get to the store, see if they have what you are looking for. If not, take note of what they do have and research those options specifically to make sure they are up to your quality standards.
Inspect the table and ask questions.To make an informed purchase, you’ll want to ask some specific questions about the pool table you are thinking about buying. Find out what material it is made out of, what the bracing system is like, what the tabletop is made of, what cloth is used, what the cushions are made of. The best materials will cost more, so keep this in mind, but you also want something that will last a long time.
- In stores where the employees are not experts on pool tables, ask them if they have any information about the materials of the tables you are looking at. They should be able to get you something that will tell you about the manufacturing specifications.
- The best materials are solid wood frames, slate playing surface, and rubber cushions.
Research again before you buy.After you have visited a store or two and found a few tables that you are interested in, do extra research on those specific tables and find out the manufacturing specifications to see if it is what you want. It is also good to find user reviews to see if people tend to like that specific table or if people have had a lot of problems.
- Since purchasing a table will most likely be a significant investment, you want to give the research due diligence so you can feel fairly safe your money is going to a quality product.
Have a plan for moving and installation.If it is within your budget, hiring someone who knows about handling and installation of pool tables is a good idea. You don’t want to risk breaking it in the move or putting it together improperly. Making the sure the table is sturdy and level is important and you may want to leave it up to a professional.
Get a warranty whenever possible.Many tables come with a warranty that covers repairs for basic wear and tear on the cloth and cushions, at least. Since you are making a sizeable investment, it is a good idea to pay the extra amount for a warranty. You don’t want to spend all that money and have something go wrong within a few years and be stuck with a worn out table and no options to fix it.
QuestionHow long does a synthetic slate pool table typically last?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe exact life span can vary, but in general synthetic slate tables only last 5 to 7 years. They are likely to begin to warp during that time.Thanks!
Deciding which end of the table to break from
- When you are budgeting and making the purchase, consider the added expenses of cue sticks, chalk, racks, and balls that may not be included with the table. You don’t want to run out of money without having all the essentials of playing.
Video: How to Buy a Used Pool Table
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