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Pool Tables buying guide

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Pool Tables Guide - An Introduction

Billiards encompasses various games, however, the game of pool is by far the most popular worldwide. Pool tables have become a staple element among pubs, in which invite patrons to socially entertain themselves. It is also common to find pool tables in the homes of many individuals, as they function as both a centerpiece for entertaining guests and a permanent piece of furniture. The game of pool is widely accepted, as it appeals to any generation and skill level.

Pool table manufacturers have developed and designed a table for any application, individual, and/or scenario. If you want your pool table to match the décor of your home, pool table producers are able to accommodate you. If you want a table that is collapsible, folding pool tables are also available. If you are short on space, 7ft pool tablesare about the smallest high grade tables that are on the market. There are some 4ft, 5ft, and 6ft pool tables available, but are designed for youth play and are made of lesser grade materials. Within reason, manufacturers have a pool table that will suit your specific needs.

A major element of a pool table is the bed; it is also a big price indicator. The bed of a pool table is the large flat area in which the game is played. As one of the most important factors in purchasing a pool table, the materials used to construct the bed are crucial. Generally, manufacturers use either particleboard or slate, in which slate is more expensive. Particleboard is used for lesser quality tables, is subject to moisture, and is not considered as a long lasting material. In contrast, more expensive, but longer lasting, pool tables are made with slate beds and are considered better quality tables. All professional games are played on slate bed pool tables.

Aside from the bed of a pool table, another area of importance is the construction of the frame and legs. With any billiards table, the overall frame, supports, and legs should match the general integrity of the bed. Although some companies that sell slate pool tables are able to price their products lower than others, this may be directly caused by lesser quality construction throughout the frame and legs. There are some economically priced pool tables that use veneers and laminates that work well for some applications, however, the majority of solid wood tables are built to be elegant and last for decades. There are even some manufacturers that custom design pool tables to specifically meet your needs and wants.

Although an inexperienced individual may become entranced in the plentiful colours available for pool tables, the cloth of a table is not just a regular fabric. The cloth is specifically designed to allow pool table balls to roll smoothly, while allowing little friction; unless ordered particularly thicker to withstand heavy use, as in a pub or billiards hall. Also confused as being felt, this often misidentified fabric used on pool tables is actually wool or baize. There are several grades of cloth used on pool tables, so it is important that you understand what you are purchasing, especially if you making a rather large investment. Over time, the cloth does wear out, in which it can be replaced by a professional.

Choosing your next pool table can be quite overwhelming at first, with the seemingly limitless options available on the market. We have provided you with a series of tips to help begin, and even narrow down your search options. As we intend this guide to help you find the best pool table for your home or business, we are also able to help you find the best price in the UK!

 

Types of Pool Tables

Economy
This category encompasses introductory and recreational pool tables. They are priced modestly compared to their superior counterparts, but are good for children to become exposed to the game of pool. These pool tables are smaller in size, use either particleboard or even plastic materials for bed construction, and are not intended to be permanent or long lasting.

Intermediate/Home
This is a rather large category of pool tables as it is everything in between economy tables and professional pool tables. For the common household, quality pool tables of this category include solid wood construction and slate beds. Slate beds can range from 3/4" to 1”, and are offered as one solid piece, or in three pieces. Three-piece beds can be more expensive as they offer greater quality due to the ease of leveling. These tables are intended to deliver professional playability and elegance that fits into the décor of any home.

Professional
A professional pool table is designed for experienced players and strictly meets regulation guidelines. These tables are not necessarily your next centerpiece in your home, but deliver challenging playability, and are used in tournaments and billiards halls.

Accessories for Pool Tables

Cues
A pool cue is a necessity to a pool table purchase. In fact, if you plan to have guests over to play on your new table, you may need to be able to supply pool cues for at least two players, as well as multiple sizes.

Rack
A pool table rack is a triangularly shaped piece of plastic or wood that sets the pool table balls into form for the first break.

Balls
Pool table balls are also a necessity to a pool table purchase. Be sure to use the same integrity used to purchase your pool table to purchase your pool table balls as to accurately complement each other.

 

Tips to consider before buying a Pool Table

  • Do not install your new pool table by yourself. When purchasing a pool table it is important to know that your retailer will be able to provide a professional installation of your investment. As some pool tables may exceed 1000 kg, an inexperienced installer poses as not only a threat to your investment, but also yields safety concerns.
  • What kind of warranty comes with the product? As your pool table may cost anywhere from £200 to over £10,000, there should be some kind of warranty. Buying from a reputable retailer can direct you in the right direction, as you do not want to be guaranteed an 8-year warranty from a business that will not be around next year. A pool table is large purchase, so make sure it is guaranteed, and guaranteed by a quality source.
  • A maintenance plan, whether it is included with the sale of your table, or if it must be purchased, is a good idea. New pool tables will become unlevel over time and it is best to have a professional to stabilize the unit. Also, they will be able to make sure that there are no defects in the table that have incurred over time. Maintaining your pool table is as important as finding the right one, so be sure to inquire about maintenance programs or services at your local retailer before purchasing
  • Do not buy a pool table that is too big! Be sure that the room in which your pool table will be housed is large enough to accommodate not only the pool table itself, but also the individuals that will use it. Many agree that six feet of space around the perimeter of a pool table is a valid unwritten rule. Depending on the size of the pool cues you will be using, a full size pool table, or 9ft table, will require anywhere from a 12’ by 16.5’ to a 14’ by 18’ sized room. Also, if plan to accommodate guests in the room to watch a game, plan to exceed these recommendations. Ask your reputable pool table retailer what size table would fit for your specific application.
  • Decide on your price range and your commitment to your purchase. Pool tables can be expensive, as manufacturers build them with the intention of lasting a lifetime. Quality pool tables can begin at £1,500 and rise to over £10,000 depending on numerous variables. If you are looking for something for the kids to play with, lesser quality tables are available from £100 to £500. Manufacturers design the majority of their pool tables to be permanent pieces of furniture within your home, so be ready to commit to leaving your purchase where it sits the first day you receive it.

Jargon Explained

Pool BedFlat surface area of a pool table in which game play takes place.
CushionsSurrounding sides of the pool table bed that are designed to rebound a pool table ball with losing as little energy as possible.
PocketsSix openings around the perimeter of a pool table in which players try to “sink”, or “pocket” balls into.
BaizeA defined mix of wool and nylon. 

Summary of Pool Tables

As pool has gained popularity throughout the world, owning a personal pool table is quite common. When faced with the various options in deciding on a pool table, coming to a decision can be frustrating and overwhelming; especially, with rather large price tags. This guide is intended to help narrow your search and give you some preliminary education in purchasing a new pool table. When the search is over and you are ready to buy, be sure to check back with us to find the best price in the UK!

Buying Guide to Pool Tables
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