Buying a Pool Table
Pool tables are easily one of our most popular products, with everyone essentially spending some time growing up in a pool parlour. Now that you’ve decided to have a pool table in your life, this guide is designed to address the many questions that you may have in mind, and help you simplify the process of buying a pool table.
We’ll start with the most basic questions of them all.
What size should I be looking at?
The answer to this question probably depends on the amount of space you have for your table, which you can look at our Space Guide to find out. However, it also depends on the type of pool you’re looking to play.
There are broadly two types of pool; English and American. These two styles of play differs mainly in the size of the tables and balls and of course, geographically. English pool is played with a 7ft table accompanied with 2″ balls in league play, while American pool is played on a 9ft table with 2.25″ balls.
Our recommendation? The best experience with pool comes when you have the right amount of space for the table. Decide on the right size for you and make sure to pair it with the right balls.
Playing field: Slate bed or Wood bed?
You might see pool tables that are priced below $1000, to tables that are priced in the ranges of $3000 and wondered what’s the difference. Well, the difference lies in the type of playing field and this is easily the biggest decision to make when choosing a pool table. There are essentially two choices – Wood vs Slate.
Wood (MDF) bed tables
Wood bed tables utilises MDF – a form of compressed wood – for the playing field, and that results in a light weight table that is cheap, though suffers in areas like gameplay and durability. As MDF is susceptible to water logging and humidity, it is never ever perfectly flat and hence, do not provide a true roll. When used in a large area, MDF is prone to warping as well, which results in balls rolling lopsided to one side of the table.
• Low end priced from $400 – $1500
• Light, moveable and cheap
• Not perfectly flat and ball do not roll true
• Susceptible to warping and lopsided ball roll.
Wood bed tables are mostly used as toys, and are never ever used in a setting where a proper pool table is required.
Slate (Stone) bed tables
Slate bed tables are the industry standard for pool tables, and are used in pool parlours, pubs and everywhere you would expect a proper table to be at. Slate or natural stone being perfectly flat, provides a true ball roll and are immune to humidity or the elements. Slates usually come in 3/4″ – 1 1/4″ thick, are incredibly heavy which is why all slate bed tables are non-moveable.
• Industry standard for pool tables
• Perfectly flat & smooth, while immune to humidity
• Provides a true ball roll
• Heavy and non-moveable
Our recommendations? Unless you’re looking for a toy, go for a Slate-bed table and own a proper pool table that would last years. Gameplay is everything in pool and if the ball doesn’t roll right, there’s really no point.
Dining Pool or Regular Pool?
Of increasing popularity in recent years are dining pool tables. These are basically fully functional pool tables that doubles up as a dining table with the table top in place. Dining pool tables are great to play on, practical and affordable. With european manufacturers especially, the dining pool tables are also excellent finished and makes a really good looking furniture for the living room.
Regular tables however, are singular in their usage and are only for playing. Regular tables also tend to be offered in bigger sizes, as dining pool tables often maxes out at 7ft.
Our recommendations? In today’s context where homes are getting smaller and smaller, go for a dining pool table which is highly practical in their dual use. If you’re worried about the game-play, make sure to go for a slate bed and try out the table in person.
A final word
While there are many different type of pool tables in the market, all of them are practically covered in this short guide. We hope that we’ve given you a good understanding of what to look out for, and aid you in picking a table that would give you years and years of fun.