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Written by / August 2, 2021 / Posted in Pool Tables

Pool Table Buying Guide: Detailed Guide of What to Look for When Buying a Pool Table

Man and woman playing pool together

If you’re ready to get a pool table for your home, you may be surprised at all of the options and things you should consider moving forward. There’s plenty to consider, from the types of pool tables to sizes, and what kind of maintenance your table will need after you’ve bought it. In this pool table buying guide, we’ll explain everything you need to consider to make the best decision for you. 

How to Buy a Pool Table 

You can buy a pool table from Oakville Home Leisure. We strongly recommend that you come in and assess the pool tables for yourself as you make your decision. When you’re looking at the tables, even if it is just online, there are a few things you need to consider, including: 

  • Slate: The best quality pool tables have slate. Slate provides a better playing experience that is smoother and more accurate. There are plenty of substitute materials, but slate is a better option. You have options for slate thickness, from three-quarter inches to an inch and a quarter. Tournaments require at least a one-inch slab of slate so if you want the most accurate experience, you may want to choose this option. 
  • Legs: You can choose legs that are made from a solid piece of wood or from two-pieces. Two pieces may be industry standard, but they do not provide the same levels of support and longevity as the single piece legs do. If you do buy single-piece legs then you may want a quad anchor system as it provides more support. Remember that players lean on pool tables and the legs will take a beating over time. 
  • Frame: A good quality frame that holds the slate more securely will help the table last longer and give you a better playing experience for longer as it prevents the slate from being cracked or otherwise damaged. Quad-frame construction, with two long crossbeams, is the most supportive and necessary for thick slabs of slate. 
  • Cloth: The felt or cloth on billiards tables is made with a blend of wool and polyester. For toughness, it is often coated in Teflon. The ounce weight per yard of the fabric is important, with heavier weights being more durable. The colour may also matter to you. 
  • Cushions: Cushions on a billiards table are also called rails. They may be natural gum, a gum blend, or a synthetic material. Synthetic materials can dry out and lose their bounce. This makes for a dead rail. Natural gum will cushion a rail for longer, potentially as long as you own the table. 
  • Accessories: You also shouldn’t neglect to consider the quality of the accessories that you purchase. There are pool cues, billiard balls, ball racks, bridge sticks, brushes, training balls, cue chalk and much more. 

You also want to consider style when you choose a pool table. The colour of the fabric and the materials and construction of the table both contribute to the style. 

Want to learn more about pool tables? At Oakville Home Leisure, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to learn more! 


Person preparing pool balls for a game of pool

What Size Pool Table Should I Buy? 

You should also consider the size of a pool table, as well as all of the elements that we listed above. Your pool table needs to fit in the space that you have planned for it. What are the dimensions of a pool table? When looking through any pool table buying guide, think of the size of your space so you can play freely without any restrictions. 

  • 9-foot: This is a regulation size table and an ideal option for those who want to practice on a table that is as close to the size of the tournament table. It is 254 cm by 127 cm. 
  • 8-foot: Most people choose an eight-foot table for their home. It is 233.7 cm by 111.8 cm. 
  • 8-foot plus: This is considered a pro table. It is just slightly wider than the typical eight-foot table at 233.7 by 116.8 cm. 
  • 6-foot: This is the smallest table, so worth looking into if you’re trying to maximize a small space. They are 177.8 cm by 88.9 cm at the smallest. 
  • 12-foot: Want the biggest pool table available? They are 356 by 177 cm. 

How much room is required for your pool table will also depend on the size of cues that you use. The standard cue size, 58-inches, is the largest available. If you’re worried about having clearance, you can work down to a 52-inch or a 48-inch cue. If you have an eight-foot table and you’re using standard 58 inches cues, you need a space that is 13 feet and two inches by sixteen feet and 10 inches. 

That’s the room for the cue plus six inches for the backswing. This is a fairly large space for some people. If that’s the case for you, you need to decide if a smaller table or smaller cues is preferable. 

Best Type of Pool Table to Buy for a Home 

No pool table buying guide would be complete without talking about the different types of pool tables available. Which pool table is best for your home? Homeowners often get stuck on a few key points of comparison. Let us walk you through them: 

  • Slate vs. wood: Slate provides a better playing experience than wood. We’d say if that is important to you, you’d probably want to opt for buying a smaller slate table to reduce costs over reducing costs by buying wood or MDF.  
  • New vs. used: A used table is typically given away because it has a problem, from broken slate to dead rails or worn fabric. If you can get a table from someone you trust, or you know how to inspect it for major issues, a used table can be a wise purchase. However, you’re going to get more value, longevity, and the right features for you from a new table. 
  • The right size: Most people find that they want an 8-foot table. It’s close to a regulation size but it’s better able to fit into a basement or a spare room. 

When you’re making your decision, you may wonder how you tell if a pool table is slate. You can look at the underside of the table to see if it’s a light or dark grey. Wood and MDF are typically brown, and you may be able to feel the wood. Slate is cool to the touch and very smooth. Be wary, as some tables have MDF on top of slate. 

Pool table inside the house

How to Care for a Pool Table 

well-made pool table should last 20 years or more. However, you need to maintain it in order to keep it for that long. Our pool table buying guide includes these tips to help you maintain your table for as long as possible. 

  • Use a cover: Protect the fabric from dust, spills and other wear when not in use. 
  • Don’t lean: When possible, avoid leaning against the rails, so that the cushions stay in as good condition as possible. 
  • Reduce moisture: Ideally, you’d place your table in a space with balanced humidity. If your basement is too humid, it can undermine the life of the table. You can use a dehumidifier in your space to protect the table and the other wood objects in your home. 

It’s also important to regularly clean the table and all of its accessories to keep it all in good condition. Here is how you clean a pool table: 

  • Brush the table: Purchase a brush made of nylon or horsehair that is intended to clean billiard cloth. Brush the table regularly to remove chalk, dust and other debris. Start at the head of the table, or near the break line, and work towards the foot. Only work in one direction, especially if your cloth is snooker cloth that has a nap. Other billiard cloth may not have a direction, but it’s a good habit to have. 
  • Vacuum: You can carefully vacuum a pool table, so long as you work in one direction and with low suction. Use an attachment, instead of using the hose of the vacuum itself, or you will damage the cloth. 
  • Ironing: You can also iron a snooker cloth, so long as you have a specialized iron made just for this purpose. It can help you fix problems with the nap and make the fabric lay flatter if it has started to raise in spots. 
  • Wood: The wood and the other surfaces of the pool table and its accessories should be cleaned with a damp cloth. You can use a noncorrosive-polish too. 
  • Leather: If your billiard table has leather, it’s wise to clean it regularly with leather polish. 

Are You Ready to Buy Your Pool Table? 

Interested in buying a pool table for you and your family? Contact our team at Oakville Home Leisure today! 


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