What To Look For When Buying A Pool Table
Only somebody who is really passionate about billiards would actually want to buy a billiard table; after all it does occupy a large amount of space and it will make a big dent in your bank balance. Considering that buying a billiard table is a lifetime investment, it is important that a lot of thought goes into every aspect of the purchase; right from the size of the table to the quality of the finish.
Whether you are looking at new or used billiard tables, here are the things you need to take into consideration before buying one.
Size of the Table
Unless you live in a palatial house with huge, spacious rooms, the size of the room will be the deciding factor with regards to the size of the table. Billiard tables come in lengths of 7 ft, 8 ft and 9 ft, however these measurements only indicate the playable area. This playable area is bounded on all sides by rails, the width of which varies from one manufacturer to the next. The playable area as well as the width of the table has to be taken into consideration when measuring amount of space it will occupy.
While you may find that the table could easily fit into your chosen room, you obviously have not bought the table as a show piece. If you intend playing pool regularly and practicing your moves, it is equally important that you allow sufficient space on all sides of the table for you to maneuver your shots. The minimum recommended distance is about 5 feet from the table to the wall on all sides of the table. If you buy a table that fits into the room but does not offer you enough maneuvering space, you may find yourself hitting the wall behind you more often than you'd like.
Material of the Billiard Table
Billiard tables are typically constructed out of hardwood and those made of solid hardwood are expectedly heavier and cost much more. They also almost always feature intricate carvings on them, which enhance its looks as well as the price tag.
Veneered billiard tables look almost like solid wood but do not have the same formidable price tag. They have a thin exterior layer of synthetic or real hardwood that is glued to a wood base.
Construction of the Billiard Table
A billiard table that is well-constructed will feature support beams that run the entire length of the table. These support beams lock at intervals with cross beam members offering support and stability to the cabinet as well as the slate. Look under the table and check out the construction of the table; cheaper billiard tables often feature cosmetic beams that provide no support at all. Good quality billiard tables typically use slate backed with ¾" engineered wood that offers better sound absorption as well as slate protection.
Construction of the pockets is equally important. Pockets that are made of soft rubberized plastic are more durable than those made of hard plastic, which does crack easily.
Felt cloth that is glued and screwed on will have a firmer hold and is preferable over felt cloth that is just glued and stapled together.
Rails and cushions of the Billiard Table
The rails and cushions not only define the appearance of the pool table, but also affect the side vibrations. Rails made of maple and hard oak are the most preferred as they cause minimal vibrations.
The newest kind of cushions that are constructed employing K66 technology have a canvas backing which helps the cushion adhere to the wood rail more precisely and for a longer time.