Playing pool was once only possible if you went out to a bar or a pool hall. Now, you can enjoy the game in the comfort of your own home. If you want to set up a man cave, woman cave, games room, or any other recreational room, you can easily and affordably add a pool table to the mix. Yes, you really can impress your friends and family with a pool table in your home.
If you do not know where to start, then we have all the information you will need to make an informed choice when choosing the perfect pool table. Let’s jump in and find out what you need to consider.
Buyer’s Guide to Purchasing a Pool Table
The Importance of a Level Playing Surface
Have you ever seen a ball on a tilted playing surface? Not for long. If a ball is placed on a surface which is not level, the ball will roll. If you have multiple balls on an uneven surface, they will all roll and congregate on the low spot.
This is one thing which is certain to ruin your game. When you are looking at a table, it is essential that the table is level.
If you are buying a new table, this should not be a problem; the problem is where the table will be situated. If your floor is not level, then the table is not going to be level. Look for an adjustable table, where you can adjust one corner at a time to evenly level the playing surface.
Overview of Cost
It almost goes without saying, that a more expensive table will be higher-quality (this is not always the case, but a higher cost usually means better materials and construction).
When you are thinking about how much you want to spend on your table, think about the maximum amount. Think about how much you will spend to repair your table or replace parts and add that to your budget. Spending a little more at the outset can get you a table which will not wear or break down easily.
Look for high-quality materials. The frame and base should be made from hardwood, and it should be solid. Check that the wood supports the entire top and that the joints are solid. The surface of the table should be made of slate.
You should be looking for slate which is at least 3/4 of an inch thick. If the slate comes in pieces, it should have all been cut from the same slap.
The felt is the last piece of the puzzle, and while it is the smallest and cheapest part of the table, if it is not high-quality then your balls will not roll properly. The felt should be glued and held in place with screws (not staples). The more wool content of the felt, the better the felt will be. Aim for at least 80% wool content.
It is always beneficial to spend a little more to have your table covered. If anything does go wrong, then you do not want to have to spend money on repairs or replacement parts. A warranty can give you peace of mind and save you from having to spend a lot more money at a later date.
Analysis of Cushions and Pockets
If you have ever played pool on a cheap table, then you will recognize the sound of a ball hitting a cushion and not bouncing. You will also remember the thunk of a ball hitting the back of a pocket as it disappears.
Good quality rails, like the base, will be made of hardwood. This helps to curb vibrations when hit by a ball. The felt should come up and cover high-quality rubber (or other materials) and give enough bounce for the ball to rebound when they are hit. You can press your fingers against the cushions to check the firmness.
The pockets should be made from high-quality material too. The base will come up to form the main part of the pocket, which will be hardwood, but covering that, there should be a soft rubber or rubberized plastic.
You can roll a ball quickly towards a pocket and check two things. The ball should not make much sound when it hits the pocket, and it should not bounce back out.
Other Billiards Considerations
You may also want to consider the color and finish of your table. The table is going to be a permanent addition to your house, and it is better to match the table to your decor than not. This is not the most important thing to think about, but if you can get a matching table within your budget, then you are going tome thankful for it.
You should also take note of the size of the table, the weight, and the assembly instructions. If the table comes in one piece, does it fit through your doorways? Is the table heavy and do you live on the fourth floor with no elevator?
Does the table come in one piece and are you able to get it into your building?
These are some factors which may drastically affect your decision. If your doorways are small, then you may need to buy a table which can be assembled. If you need to go upstairs, then you need a lighter table.
The last part of the puzzle is the extras. Does the table come with pool cues and balls? Have you considered the cost of them? And are the included extras of a decent enough quality? If they don’t here are reviews of the best pool cues.
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to buying a pool table, but once you have borrowed it down a little, your choice is going to be very simple. You do not need to spend a fortune to get yourself a high-quality table which the top professionals would be happy to play one.
Of course, it is going to be your friends and family who are playing, and they are going to have a great time with the newest addition to your household. If you like to add more games to your game room, check out our table tennis reviews.