Selecting Billiards and Pool Tables
Figuring out whether or not you want to buy a billiards table is a decision that you should research before you actually make the purchase. There’s no really good reason to purchase a cheap, virtually unusable table. Doing so will severely limit the personal enjoyment you get from your table and practicing on such a table isn’t going to do anything good for your game at your favorite pool hall. When purchasing billiards and pool tables you need to put the time, effort, and yes “money” into your table to make sure you get one that’s worth the investment. Here are a few criteria you should scan through before heading out to buy your own pool table.
The very first thing you need to take into consideration is the size of billiards or pool tables you want to buy. A lot of people decide they’re going to buy a certain table without actually knowing if they have enough room in their home for the table to fit. The standard size of a billiards table is 9 feet, which is the size you see played on by the pros and the size you’re probably accustomed to playing on at your local pool hall. Measure out the space you’ve dedicated to your new pool table before you go ahead and make the purchase to ensure you actually have enough space to indulge your desire. Check our room size guideline for more information.
When measuring out the space for your new billiards and pool tables, remember that you don’t just need enough room to fit a 9 foot table, you also need enough room to actually play on it! You’re not going to be very happy with your investment if you’re knocking holes in your walls with every game you play or if you’re so cramped that you can’t even fully extend your cue. Mark off the exact space you plan on setting your 9 foot table in and then make sure you have at least a few extra feet in every direction. A three to four foot buffer surrounding your pool table should be enough however, ultimately the more playing space you can provide the better.
One final note about space, if you don’t have enough space in your room for a 9 foot table, that doesn’t mean you should automatically downgrade to a 7 foot table. For most casual players there’s nothing wrong with a 7 foot table and most people would agree that having a smaller table in their home is better than having no table at all. The angles will all work the same as on a larger table and you’ll still improve your game and enjoy playing. However… if you are very, very serious about playing pool and you play games for stakes you care about outside of your house then you should find a way to get a proper 9 footer to practice with.
After determining what size pool table you need and what size table you can actually fit comfortably into your house you need to start thinking about the quality of table you’re looking to purchase. Lower quality tables are going to make use of lower quality materials less expertly assembled. For example, lower quality tables will use flimsier, lighter wood than proper, official oak billiards and pool tables. The felt will also be easier to scratch and won’t roll the balls the same way as high quality felt. Billiards and pool tables made from lower quality materials not only look cheaper and less attractive from day one, but they are also more prone to taking on scratches and other noticeable surface damages than pool tables made from higher quality material. Check out our buyers guide for more information regarding materials used during construction of your table.
Even if you don’t really care about how your table looks you should care about how they feel to play on, and the better the quality of table you purchase the more enjoyable your playing sessions will be. Everyone who loves pool has played on a junk table made from relatively light and flimsy wood before and they’ve noticed the difference. It’s easy to forget how much direct physical contact a player makes with the table until that table is swaying and buckling below you. Everyone who loves pool has also played with a low quality table that has a curve or slant to it, something which will ruin your game if you start making unconscious adjustments and accommodations for it. While there’s no need to discount the aesthetic concerns involved in buying low quality billiards and pool tables, it’s ultimately the result of sturdy construction that makes a high quality table such a great investment.
Once again playing on any billiards table is better than playing on no table, but make sure you aren’t sabotaging the subtleties of your game to save a few bucks.
Price is one of the biggest considerations that everyone has to take into account when looking at buying a new table. It’s safe to say that everyone ultimately wants to purchase the highest quality table that they can afford on the market, made from solid oak and professionally sized. However, in the real world we all know that price is a consideration when selecting your table. In fact many people will consider price the first and last consideration they mull over when purchasing their new table.
You certainly need to take price seriously as you don’t want to spend money you don’t have just to get a new table into your home. However, price shouldn’t be the first thing you think about when picking out your pool table either. You should follow the order of considerations outlined here. You should start by figuring out what size table you can fit into the designated space within your home and whether there’s any way at all you can comfortably get a 9 footer in there. After that you should think long and hard about the quality of materials and construction of the table you really want in your home to practice and enjoy. Only after you arrive at a very good idea of the exact table you want and need for your home should you start to worry about price.
If you have the money to purchase your dream table right away then by all means go for it. You’ll be happy you did! If you don’t then you’ll simply need to make some compromises. For some people that compromise means purchasing a smaller, lower quality table. For other people that compromise means buying a table in a month or two after they’ve been able to put together the extra money they need. While I’m not in a position to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do with your time and money, I do suggest you spring for the best and most official pool tables you can find, even if that means waiting a little longer than you initially imagined.
Buying a pool table is a big step to take and it’s one you should feel excited about, not anxious. By keeping these important guidelines in mind you’ll be able to feel the excitement of this great investment without worrying that you’re somehow going about it all wrong. Check our buyers guide here for specifications.
Don’t ruin this massively fun and worthwhile investment by deliberating for another minute. Shopping for quality billiards and pool tables is alot of fun and you will enjoy the purchase for years to come.