Things to Know Before Buying a Pool Table
Whenever you show off your newly bought pool table to others, they are left with nothing else but awe. Pool rooms have become a trendy place for people to meet socially for a friendly evening.
But no one knows how much trouble you had when you first went to look for the best pool table. Buying a pool table is not an easy job.
There are so many different brands offering so much variety that we get confused easily. There are so many factors involved in the buying of such indoor sport.
With proper care of pool table, it can last for decades. It is indeed a very considerable investment for any home.
Today we are going to guide you in detail how to buy a pool table. With the help of these mentioned pointers, purchasing a pool table will never be a difficult task.
1. How to Choose the Best Table:
It is essential to take into consideration all the below-mentioned factor when buying a pool table. These factors play a vital role. When any factor is missing, you will feel the tense pressure of not being able to think thoroughly before the purchase. These factors include;
- Size of the space,
- Size of the table,
- The condition of the table,
- Other aspects such as accessories, table’s construction.
With the complete information and knowledge of what you actually want, only then you will find the best pool table for you.
2. Buying a New Pool Table or Used One:
Whether buying a new table or a used one, the preference totally depends upon the individual’s budget. Usually, when the budget is not an issue, people like to go to the new pool table. But when you are on a tight budget, buying used table are a good option.
When you are planning on buying a large, professional pool table, always go with the brand new one. They are more reliable in this fashion.
If you are planning to teach children then buying a used one seems like the best idea because after some time, there will be no need for that table, and then it can be re-sold.
3. Type of Pool Table:
Whenever you plan on buying a pool table, always keep in mind the real purpose. Are you buying the pool table for yourself or this purchase is related to kids? If the buying product is for the children to learn the basics of the pool game, then there is a whole another market available for kids pool table. They are small in sizes for children’s ease.
But if you are purchasing for your own enjoyment then remember, there are usually three categories;
- Pool Tables for Beginners: usually these pool tables for beginners are made of cheap materials, and there is nothing special about them. The only spec that these pool tables will have is that you will be able to learn the basic tips and techniques and methods of playing pool. The knot will be just average while the felt and the slate and other, aspects of the pool table will be just about average or slightly above.
- Pool Tables for Good Players: There are some mid-range pool tables for the people who are very enthusiastic when it comes to playing pool. They play almost every day. Such tables have nice frameworks and felt, and they tend to last longer with proper care. These tables are available in many colors and finishes.
- Pool Tables for Pros: then comes the pool tables for professionals. These tables are of premium range. They are made of the best materials, ideal finishes and have a lifetime guarantee.
This is such an important factor. All the purchasing depends upon the budget.
You must consider your budget very carefully and plan according to it. If you can spare yourself some extra cash, then go with the new one but if you can’t, then wait for the proper time and then purchase a good deal.
When budgets are not an issue, purchasing of the pool table is no problem as you can always go with the new ones. They are more reliable. New pool tables have zero issues and they can last for decades.
5. Room Space:
This is the most worrying factor of all. The size of the pool table. Imagine you just bought a fantastic pool table and you have ordered the shipment to your home. Upon arrival, only then you realize that you have made a huge blunder in measuring the size of the room with respect to your table.
The size of the room should be measured accurately otherwise pool table will not fit, and it might appear to be extra-large in a tight room or too small for a huge room.
Here are the room sizes according to the pool table sizes for your further references;
- 7 foot (3′ ½ x 7′)
- 12’8″ x 15’10”
- 8 foot (4’8′)
- 13’8″ x 16’10”
- 9 foot (4.5’9′)
- 13’8″ x 17’10.
6. Never Rush for Purchase:
Whether buying a 1st hand pool table, a brand new one or second hand, you should never rush into the purchasing because you suddenly found something which looked very good and with a visible LOW price. It could mean that the pool table has some invisible faults in it. It could be a trap.
You must have a complete check from the physical market and the online sources. Go through all of your sources and then wait. Wait till you find a good deal. Try to remain patient and check every day or every few days till you find a good deal.
- There are a few things you must be aware of when you are going for the online buying.
- Always ask for a quality picture of the pool table from all the angles when buying online.
- Ask if the seller is the first owner of the table. Ask for a receipt if they have.
- Inquire about the existing damages.
- You can always question the manufacturer of the pool table. A brand can tell a lot about the pool table.
- Always inquire about the WARRANTY.
Keep all these things in mind and wait for the right time. Many people are usually looking up to $400 – $1000 for a used pool table. When going for the first-hand pool table, physical markets have huge ranges and varieties. Physical inspection of the pool table helps even more.
7. Plans for Moving and Installments:
A significant point is the placement of the pool table. The pool table is no joke to move. You cannot simply pick it and throw it anywhere or put it in the back of your car and move it somewhere else. It requires proper moving and installments.
If you don’t know the steps to move the pool table then there are companies working for this purpose. You must consult them when you plan on moving in the pool table. Usually, when buying online, you should ask the seller if they have anything planned to help you with the installment of the pool table in your home.
If not, then consult professionals who will disassemble the pool table, move and again assemble it with proper care.
From what I have learned and seen, a professional pool moving company usually cost between $250 – $800. There are freelancers working as a two- or three-men company in the market as well; they would simply go by booking.
You must ask for referrals from your friends who have purchased pool tables in the past or from the local pool club.
Just remember! Add the moving budget to your final budget as well. If you can find a perfect conditioned, second-hand pool table for, say $450, and with moving budget of $400, your total budget will be somewhere between $800 – $900.
And then you might realize that you could have purchased a decent piece of the pool table, first hand from the market in less or more equal price.
8. Rails and Cushions:
Rails and cushions are one of the most important parts of the pool table. These are those parts which actually hold the framework and felt and slate. They apply proper pressure to the felt and the wood.
The woodwork of the pool table should be made out of hardwood. Any cheap wood can make the pool table less durable.
Rails and cushions play most important function is the rebounding factor. Balls usually hit and rebound by rails. If the rails are not working properly, the game cannot happen with the flow.
You can check the rails and cushions by hitting them with balls at least 3 or 4 times. If the balls bounce back, then its fine otherwise it is a good option to leave that pool table and look for another.
Replacing of the rails and cushions can cost you anywhere between $400 – $1000.
The slate is an essential part of any pool table. The pool table should have ideally three-layered slates. It means that the material used in the slate was cut into 3 different layers and attached to form a firm platform. But there is also 1 layered slate and 2 layered slate. There are some qualities involved in a good slate. Such as;
- Slate should be ½ inch thick,
- 3-piece matching set,
Slate is the flat surface which is placed on the center of the pool table and felt is attached to it. Pool games are played on it. If the slate is not up to the standard, then there is no use in buying that pool table.
You should avoid those pool tables that have MDF slates. MDF stands for Medium Density Fiberboard. They are usually those made by breaking down hardwood fiber and making them into small wood fibers. This does not provide firmness but a shallow, unlevelled play.
You should also avoid cracked slates. A cracked slate means you have to replace the whole slate and slate don’t come cheap. This means a big expense.
Always check the slate properly from all angles and make sure that you have the proper slate.
Felt is the cover cloth on the pool table. It usually comes in green color.
When buying a brand-new pool table, issues with felt are nil. Felt is new, feels good and fresh. It comes with felt protector and cleaner, though sometimes these things are be purchased separately.
But with used pool tables, you ought to look for feeling very carefully. Felts with scars, burn or holes; even scratches are something you will try to avoid.
If you still want to purchase the pool table with damage felt because the rest of the table is in such a good condition. Then I will recommend adding in your budget the buying of new felt.
The refelting of the pool table can take some serious steps. You sometimes cannot do it by yourself. You will need to make sure that the felt is properly glued to the slate and stapled correctly.
There are no bumps or bubbles in between the felt and the slate surface. There is no hanging out of the felt from the pockets. Or else you will have to consult a professional. This means extra money.
Isn’t it better to look for a pool table with good felt or wait till you find your best deal? This will save you from so much hassle and spare you some extra cash. A good felt can last 2-4 years with heavy use while 8-10 years with infrequent usage.
Re-felting can cost up to $200- $500. Professional re-felter charge separately.
Pockets are usually made of leather or rubber plastic. There are 6 pockets in a pool table.
Usually, home pool tables have a leather pocket in them. You will need to make sure that the pockets are all properly attached, and all pockets are in nice condition. The rubberized plastic pocket is usually soft, and they last longer.
But if the plastic were hard, then there is a big chance that they can easily get crack or break. If you find this out while the purchasing is happening, negotiate for a lower price.
Changing of pockets can cost you anywhere between $150 – $600.
12. Pool Table Leveled:
If the pool table is not level, then there cannot be a proper play. Usually there are adjustments in the leg region to help with the leveling of the pool table.
If you find that the table is not properly leveled, or the legs are not adjustable, then you will have to add certain thinly sliced materials to level the pool table. Materials such as playing cards or other thin plastic materials can be used.
Make sure that the assembler of the pool table double check the level of the pool table from every corner and everywhere else. You can check the leveling by buying a level and checking it yourself.
You should know the methods to level the pool table otherwise you would need help from professionals.
13. Manufacturer of The Pool Table:
Make sure that while you are buying a used pool table, you can find out the manufacturer of the pool tables. This tells a lot about the pool table itself.
A recognizable brand can tell a lot about the materials that are used. The woodwork and slate framework can be explained in a much better way.
If the name of the manufacturer is not known, then you will have to inquire every detail about the pool table yourself.
Never forget about the accessories that come with the pool table. Such as,
- 15 colored balls,
- Triangle rack or diamond rack of 9 ball,
- Cloth brush for cleaning,
- Cue sticks at least 2 of them,
- Cue stand. Now, this option is additional, but you are getting one in a deal then what could be better. This saves you the cost of buying a new cue stand.
- Always check the price of these accessories.
Always ask for the warranty. When you are going with the new pool table, then the warranty will be given to you automatically.
But when you are going with the used pool tables, you must ask for the warranty card or any such document that can help with the repairing.
Pool repairing is an expensive option and is a must option. Take care of the pool table means more reliability and long durability.
16. Cost of Shipping:
Always keep in mind the cost of shipment. If you are buying online, then there is going to be a shipment fee. Always ask if the insurance is included in that fee.
Make sure there are no hidden charges in the shipment fee.
It is always a good option that is kept open.
What if you bought a used pool table and then when it is all assembled at your place, you find some parts missing or pool table is not as according to the deal.
Can you send it back? Will the seller take it back? What about the money refunded?
Ask about all these questions beforehand because online purchase can be anything.
Major Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Pool Table:
Now as much as we love pool games, we sometime make such awful mistakes which can cause us not only money wise problems but serious disheartening as well.
Now I am providing you all with a complete guide of how you can avoid certain mistakes when buying a pool table. These mistakes stand of equal value for both; a brand-new pool table or a used pool table.
If you are about to purchase a one for your home, then you must go through the details which I am providing.
18. Technology Regarding the Manufacturing:
This is another big mistake made by the purchasers when they are about to buy a new pool table or even a used one. They never try to understand the technology involved in the making of the pool table.
With time, many new ways of manufacturing pool tables have been introduced. While new ways are providing amazing results in both aspects such as budget and stability wise but that does not mean that you should be ignoring old manufacturing manners.
What you should do is that you must compare them and understand them and see what works best for you.
What an important aspect of any pool table! If the cushions are not properly made or are at fault, your pool table automatically drops 50-70% of its working.
Now when you are about to buy a new pool table, you must make sure that all the cushions are evenly placed and made.
There can be some chance that where you will find that not all cushions are equally made, and they are all not 100% alike. In case of a used table,
make sure your selected pool table has cushions which are not only working but also intact correctly in their places.
20. Just Going on The Outlook:
Pool tables are a beautiful art piece, no denying of that. But buying a pool table just because you got attracted towards its outer making and finishing; this will not help you in any way in your purchase.
While we totally agree with this fact of beauty and elegance, but you must remember that old saying, “everything that shines is not gold.” Don’t fall for outer beauty when inner has nothing for you.
21. Too Much Focus on The Review – Either Online or Someone’s Reference:
One of the worse mistakes you can make when buying a pool table is going for purchase because your friend has one or you read an amazing review about that particular pool table online.
Please, note this thing; what works for you might not work for the other person, and that goes for pool tables as well. You must try your hand on different types of the pool table and only then decide.
Blind trusts can sometimes result in disasters, and you can do nothing about it but regret over your silly decision.
22. Going on Brands Name:
Simply because the pool table you selected is from some brand; it means it is best for you. I don’t think so. Not all brands pool tables work in the same way as you might think, and they all provide different experiences; not always good; not always bad.
So, stay alert, find your best pool table and work on it. Don’t make this mistake of hurrying into buying because a brand was offering some kind of sale.
Please, a pool table purchase happens once in decades in anyone’s life so stay strong and fight the temptations of the brand name.
23. Wrong Size:
One of the biggest blunders is buying a pool table in the wrong size. Imagine buying a pool table and finding out that it does not fit in your selected room or there is not enough room for comfortable play.
You can avoid such mistake by measuring your selected room from each and every corner and calculate the area keeping in mind that more than two players will be standing and playing with long queues. And then you must go on the hunt for the best pool table for you.
24. Stock Table Purchase Only:
Why it happens that people tend to purchase only those pool tables which are available in the market and not wait for any other out of stock pieces?
Sometimes, good pieces get out of stock quickly, and I recommend that you should wait for the re-stocking. Never hurry in buying a pool table as you might miss out the opportunity to buy a classic piece just because you were in some kind of hurry.
25. Purchasing Due to Price:
A common mistake made by almost everyone is the purchasing done due to the price. Buying a brand-new pool table is not a piece of cake, and not everyone can do it easily.
So, most people go with the used pool table. But still, whether it is used or new; avoid making this disastrous mistake where you make the purchase just because the price was low.
There must be some kind of fault in it otherwise we all know no pool table comes cheap. Beware of such shiny tricks. This is nothing but a clever advertisement.
26. Buying the Feature and Not the Benefit:
This is the same as the accessories. What you are getting with the pool tables as a free usually blinds your eyes to the benefits factor. It means that we get amazed by the features that are coming as free items, but we ignore that more important factor of the benefits that pool table will provide or not.
Never make this mistake. Because you know deep down if you found a fantastic and well build and solid pool table whether used or new; you will always buy new accessories for it. It is just a way to show your love to that table.
Buying a pool table can be risky and tricky. No matter you are buying a used pool table or new, you must try to avoid these mistakes as mentioned earlier. If you don’t follow these points, then the final purchase can disappoint you in ways that you cannot even imagine.
Once the purchase is done, it makes your extra space in your home fulfilled with splendid joy. Keep yourself fully aware of your options and work patiently.
Many people try to fit in their budgets and go with used ones. Used ones can be as good as any new pool table; all that matters are what you find and how you handle your research.
Best of luck!
-Maryam Shaw (www.10sorts.com)
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