Surface, Rails, Cloth and Space
There are a few important factors to consider while looking into a buying a pool table. This article will explain what most tables are made of and what the differences are.
The surfaces are usually made from with MDF/wood or slate. MDF is a medium density fiberboard that quickly reveals a drastic difference when playing on the pool table. The balls roll much slower lacking the same feel as the tables you’re probably used to. And over time it’ll only get worse. If stored anywhere with much humidity the warping will eventually render the table unplayable. The main benefits to a MDF table is price and weight. MDF is very light making the tables easy to move around.
A slate table is made of combined minerals such as quartz, clay and mica. Slate comes in 3/4″ or 1″ – Most 1″ slate tables have 3 sectional slabs each piece weighing about 250 pounds. This makes an ideal long lasting and smooth surface for playing billiards and is why most bars and professionals play on slate tables. It’s also an heirloom for many families, a well made slate pool table will last forever.
It can be annoying having a dead rail on a pool table, that’s why it’s important to know about synthetic vulcanized rubber vs natural vulcanized rubber on cushions. Some companies try to get away with using cheaper filler for their cushions resulting in a dead rail after just a couple of years. Most K-66 is made of natural vulcanized rubber meaning it should like 10-15 years longer with proper care. The K-66 Cushion is also the Billiards Congress of America standard.
The cloth generally varies from 18 to 22 ounces and more hundreds of colors. We can even put your favorite sports team logo on the middle of the table! The main thing to look out for is the material it’s made of. 75% wool/25% nylon is most popular. The nylon is important because it protects the cloth from tearing easily due to miscues. Another thing to take into account is spills and stains. If drinks are allowed near the table, it might be a good investment to get DuPont Teflon coated cloth to help repel water and stains.
This last part doesn’t have as much to do with the table as it does making sure you have enough playing room to truly enjoy your table. Cue sizes vary from 36”, 48”, 52,” and most commonly used 58”. Taking that into account, a 7’ pool table would need approximately 13’ x 16’ of space. An room for an 8’ table would need 14’ x 17’.