Indoor Pool Tables
Outfitting the perfect game room requires an investment in quality recreational products of all kinds. However, few indoor recreation options appear as a furniture piece as elegant and admired as a pool table. Pool tables are available in a variety of unique designs capable of customization for a perfect fit in a household. From more modern options with streamlined lines to classic carved wood and felt masterpieces, there are options sure to suit any decor and style.
How to Choose the Right Indoor Pool Table
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing an indoor pool table. Size, weight, and design are the key elements and must be considered based on the space and support offered in your home, pool house, or business.
Pool tables are available in a range of sizes from 6 feet to 9 feet long with varying widths based on the table length. When picking a pool table, you must accommodate both the size of the table itself and the additional space needed for game play. Players require freedom of motion around the pool table as well as space for cue sticks to be wielded without striking a wall, other pieces of furniture, or pool table accessories. If additional elements are wanted for the room, such as a cue rack and other storage devices, space must also be made for these around the perimeter of the room or within a suitable distance from the table.
Size is also an important consideration when you have amateur or professional aspirations as a player. Eight foot is the standard professional size pool table so it’s ideal for brushing up skills. Meanwhile, playing on a larger table increases the difficulty of the game to provide a challenge. Over time, the skills developed on a larger table make playing on a smaller surface easier. Similarly, playing on a small table may weaken your game.
The materials used to craft pool tables range from wood to metal to slate and rubber. On many professional tables, slate is used as the playing surface but some at home use tables use a wood board. Slate and other materials, such as heavy woods, create a great deal of heft for the table — many slate surface pool tables weigh in the neighborhood of 700 to 1,000 pounds. If your game room is on the second floor of a home, above a basement or housed in an apartment, the weight of a table can place a major strain on the floor over time, leading to sagging and other long-term structural issues. Always base your choice on the load bearing capabilities of your floors making sure they are able to accommodate the extra weight. If you are unsure, you can always have the gaming area reinforced by a contractor.
Design is also a factor to consider while picking a table. When your game room pulls double duty as a playroom or dining area during a party, a multi-purpose table makes it possible to engage in multiple activities. Pool table modifications include the addition of a surface for other uses, such as more games, eating, or pursuing leisure activities like painting.
Commercial Design vs. Home Design
Commercial pool tables almost always feature one to three slate sheets covered with material for the playing surface. This provides the most true and accurate surface for play, particularly when tournaments or competitive game play is anticipated. Despite the use of premium materials for accuracy, a commercial table is typically more plain in design to stand up to repetitive use. They may also feature rails, pockets and ball returns made of plastic and other stout materials.
Combo models are pool tables designed for multi-purpose rooms and more casual players, but they may still feature quality construction. For the game room, pool tables are also capable of holding a fold out table tennis setup. Others have the ability to convert to a tabletop with a quick transition. The tabletops can be designed for dining or meetings in the daytime and fun at the pool table at night. Other combination models feature a unique bench setup that makes it possible to store cues, balls and other equipment within the folding bench. When closed, the bench becomes a seating option for the table or an accent piece in the room.
Dimensions vary slightly from pool table to pool table based on the design options chosen, but there are basic size ranges for each table size. A seven-foot pool table typically has a width of approximately 3.5 feet. An eight-foot table may be four-feet wide while a nine-foot pool table is approximately 4.5 feet wide. You should also consider the clearance needed for game play. A good rule of thumb is to add 10 feet to the table size, or five feet on either side, to accommodate cues and player movements.
Slate tables may feature one to three pieces of slate for the playing surface. These pieces are then covered with one material. Slate tables are the gold standard for pool playing and are consistently used for professional events. They are preferred due to their consistency. Unlike wood board surfaces, slate does not eventually become misshapen or warped which can ultimately impact gameplay.
Felt color is an important consideration when picking a pool table as it is capable of being customized to fit your design needs. Green is the classic color for pool table felt with red a popular second. In modern times, blue is a rising favorite while shades of tan and caramel make it easy to blend a table in with existing decor or build a more neutral game room.
Pool table felt is also available in a range of strengths that impact gameplay. The highest quality materials help reinforce the accuracy of a game and are a superb investment with a high-grade table. A heavier weight material, particularly a wool blend, creates an ideal surface. The heavier material is less susceptible to wear in the short-term and, when blended with nylon, a smoother shot is achieved. An initial investment in quality is quickly returned in improved game play and long-term use before replacement is needed.
The top rail of a pool table covers the head edge of the playing surface. They provide several important functions for game play. Top rails allow players to lean over the cue and balance for trick shots while providing a buffer between the playing surface and players. Cushioned surfaces are also attached to rails and provide a bumper for balls.
Pool table legs vary across designs. More traditional tables feature ornate wooden legs in either a design near the center or in each of the four corners. Substantial woodwork provides stability, even distribution of weight, and the opportunity for more ornate designs. For contemporary furnishers, modern pool tables feature curved legs or otherwise streamlined legs for support. Splashier design features can include lights and cut out metal bars.
More professional pool players may opt to purchase solo cue sticks for competitive game play. However, the well-equipped game room still needs a setup capable of meeting the needs of guests. A wall-mounted cue holder is an excellent way to store cues, balls, and other game accessories like chalk. Some pool sets, such as game room table and pool table combos, may also include equipment custom sized to built-in storage solutions.
What is the best pool table for the money?
A table in the $1,500 to $2,000 price range can be a good middle point between high-end elegance and more basic materials. At this price, an eight-foot pool table can generally feature a slate surface and a moderately nice felt material for covering. Design options typically include the four corner legs for even weight distribution. It may be necessary to purchase accessories separately though a good sale that can provide the opportunity to buy a comprehensive set at a bargain price.
How much is the cheapest pool table?
Pool table prices range from several hundred for more basic models to several thousand and up for slate and wood masterpieces and other more custom offerings. While classic tables with thick wood legs were once the mainstays at higher prices, more modern options with sculpted metal legs, lighting accents, and crisp contrast color felt are also considered high end and can feature an expensive price tag.
What is the best pool table for home?
A large home would easily accommodate a mid-range to large pool table, such as an eight-foot to nine-foot professional sized table. The Scioto Valley Home Store carries a wide range of eight-foot pool tables, including models from Quest, Elias, and Isaac. These tables are also perfect when you want to play on a more competitive basis and host friends for pool games.
Smaller households may prefer to opt for a combination model capable of pulling double duty for game room users. Whether this is a model with a replaceable tabletop surface or the ability to convert for a quick game of table tennis is up to your personal preference.