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13 Mar 2022

Complete Guide on Buying the Best Pool Table

Complete Guide on Buying the Best Pool Table

Features to Look for When Buying a Pool Table

There are thousands of pool tables sold on the international market. Their various types make it a real challenge to choose the right one for your house. In fact, many aspects need to be taken into consideration. 


Let’s dive deeper into all those aspects and find out what you should pay attention to when buying a perfect pool table.


Types of Pool Tables

Let’s start by discovering the most common types of pool tables that exist on the market.

(Here, we can have a picture of both American and English pool tables to show their similarities and differences)

English vs. American pool tables

Among various types of pool tables available on the international market, the most common subdivision is whether you prefer the English pool table or the American one. 


At first sight, it may seem that they are almost the same, but they are practically different games. Although the rules of the game are similar, the way you play it is not the same!






Ranging from 7’ to 9.5’

6’ or 7’ length


Made mainly from nylon

Made from wool, sometimes with other fibers woven in


Wide pockets with straight-cut corners and a sharp point at either side of the entrance

Narrow pockets with  pronounced, rounded shoulders


More spectacular due to their size

More traditional style, with turned or straight legs


Larger balls, with spots and stripes

(usually 2 3/8-inch in diameter)

Smaller balls, usually in red and yellow

(2-inch in diameter)


12mm or larger cue tips

No longer than 11mm cue tips

Playing style

Faster and more dynamic

Slower and more tactical

Differences of American and English pool tables 

English Pool Tables

 As you can notice from the table above, English pool tables have a length of either 6ft or 7ft. They are commonly used in clubs and pubs in many parts of the UK. The balls are 2-in. in diameter, smaller than those used to play on the American pool tables. 

Because of the size of the balls, other parts of the table are small, too. For instance, English tables have smaller pockets and narrower "jaws.” The most commonly used cloth of English pool tables is wool. The latter makes the game slow but steady. 

Accordingly, if you prefer steady and tactical games, you will need an English pool table.  

American Pool Tables

American pool tables are usually larger than the English/British ones: 7ft-9.5ft in size. As the balls are larger (2 3/8-inch in diameter), other elements like corner pockets are large, too. The latter make long shots along with cushions easier and smoother. Due to the nylon cloth of the bed, American pool tables allow faster play. 

So, if you ever choose between American and English pool tables, remember that these subtle differences lead to the contrast in playing styles. For a more dynamic and faster game, you will need the American billiard, while for the thoughtful game, you will need to choose the English one.

Freeplay vs. commercial pool tables

Before buying a pool table, consider the purpose of it! If you want a pool table for your house or business, you should buy a freeplay pool table. However, if you aim to earn money with a coin- or card-operated system, you should choose a commercial pool table. 

Let’s dive deeper and learn more about these types of pool tables.

Freeplay Pool Table

 As you can guess from its name, a freeplay pool table is a type of table that allows you to play free without putting money in it. Due to the absence of the coin mechanism, you will not have the “pay to play” option, but you can have fun to your heart’s content. 

The main difference between the freeplay and coin-operated pool tables is that balls usually return from one end of the table when playing on the former one.

Freeplay pool tables are ideal for family game rooms. If you have enough place at your home, this type of pool table can be a great addition to it. Primarily if you work from home, this game will make your days more dynamic. Just grab a meal to eat and hit those balls! 

Freeplay pool tables are also great for entertaining your guests: A few drinks and friendly tournaments are what you will need for a lovely evening.

(Here we can have a picture of one of our freeplay pool tables and a CTA like “go to store/view in store” that will lead to our webshop) 

Commercial Pool Table 

If you run a business and have decided to charge people for playing the game, you'll need to purchase a commercial pool table. The latter are available in different systems and styles. 


The first and the most common type of commercial pool table is a coin-operated pool table. The mechanical "straight six" coin handling system allows the player to choose the price and the accepted coins. The customer just slots the coin into the tray and can start playing immediately after the release of the balls.


A step up from these coin-operated pool tables are the electronic ones that offer more advanced options like accepting several denominations and push-button operations. Some of the coin-operated systems even allow you to charge the customer by the hour or day.


Nowadays, the most advanced commercial pool tables have card-operated systems. The latter will allow you to have contactless payment options, like paying for the game in just a few seconds with the tap of the bank card or even phone number. 


As one can guess, this is the easiest and the most convenient operation system used for commercial purposes. 

(Here we can have a picture of a commercial pool table that shows the coin-operated system)

Pool Table Styles

Because of their large sizes, pool tables will grab the attention of anyone who enters your house or commercial premise. That's why complementing it with the rest of your furniture and decor is one of the most crucial parts when you buy a pool table.

Besides the American and English pool tables and their differences, these game tables also differ in their style. So, you should buy the one that matches the overall style of your house.


Below you can discover some of the most popular styles of pool tables:


Classic pool tables feature natural build materials like hardwood frames and veneers. The legs and the table cabinet are usually covered with antique patterns and styling they typically have on older chairs. They also have a vintage red or green bed cloth.


These are the pool tables that your grandparents used to play on. They are built to recall the billiard rooms of yesteryear.


(A picture of classic pool tables and a CTA like “view in store” that will lead to our products) 


 Contemporary pool tables demonstrate the twist on classic or traditional design. The hardwood used to craft classic tables is replaced with black finishes. They also change the traditional red or green felt with blue, green, or patterned designs.

The variety of finish and felt options makes it easier to make your dream table and ideally match it to your environment. 

(A picture of contemporary pool tables and a CTA like “view in store” that will lead to our products)


Modern pool tables have minimalist shapes, but they also have features that our grandparents could only dream about. 


For instance, track or neon lighting, LED or glass top covers to highlight the shot angles. 


Table legs are usually replaced with pedestals. These tables also offer various types of pockets and a vast choice of felt colors and materials.


(A picture of modern pool tables and a CTA like “view in store” that will lead to our products)

Table Location

The type of table you buy depends mainly on the location you're going to place it. Although it looks perfect anywhere, here are the most common areas for pool tables: 

Pool table for Home

A home pool table can be the best addition to your house if you love playing games with your family members and guests. You shouldn't worry about ruining the style of your room as today's market offers a wide variety of pool tables that can easily be matched with your decor.

The modern pool table can actually complement the style of your house. You can buy one crafted with glass, metal, and other unique materials if you have a home with a modern style. 

If your house has a traditional style, you should choose either an English or American pool table. They are usually made of wood and have a classic look.

You should also pay attention to the cloth color and finish to match the table with other house furniture.

Pool table for Commercial use

In a commercial location, the features that the table offers are more important than its design. You will charge money from your customers. Accordingly, the most crucial part for any commercial premise is the availability of coin-operated mechanisms. Or maybe you need a card-operated system?

Choose this option carefully, then move to the design and style of your pool table. In pubs, for instance, American or English tables match perfectly as their cabinets are made of wood and have a tavern style.

Shared space

In a shared location like schools, universities, or offices, practical options and style should be considered equally. First, find out whether you want to charge money for playing a game, then look at the cabinet and materials of the table. 

Some pool table shops offer more advanced options to organize the space of your commercial premises. For example, adding a tennis top to the pool table can be the best solution if you like playing but can't buy more than one table game because of the space.

Table Bed Material 

(Here we can have a picture of a pool table cutaway that shows one of the below-mentioned materials)


Slate bed tables are considered to be the most expensive due to their highest quality surface. Unlike other materials, slate is not synthetic. It is basically a heavy rock that manufacturers split into several pieces. Slate is usually large and isn't easy to transport. That's the main reason for separating it into several parts. 


This material comes in various sizes: 3/4”, 7/8”, and 1”. The industry standard, however, is 1”. This size is also recommended by BCA- the Billiard Congress of America, and is used for tournament plays.


Keep in mind that the larger the slate, the more expensive the table becomes.


Pool tables with slate beds are usually used in pool halls, clubs, and pubs. They give the best performance and game experience. They are worth their high price as they do not deteriorate over time. The cloth of the table can wear or get damaged, but you can change it without buying a completely new pool table.


The only drawback about slate bed tables is that they are heavy and require more than 3 people to move them from one place to another.


(Here we can have a picture of one of our pool tables with a slate bed and a CTA like “go to store/view in store” that will lead to our webshop) 


Slate Pros


  • Fast and consistent play

  • Preferred by professionals

  • Used for tournament play

  • Warp-resistant playing surface

  • Durability and longevity

  • Heavy-duty construction

  • Moisture-resistant


Slate Cons


  • Heavy, can't move it alone

  • The most expensive tables 

  • Hard to install compared to other tables



MDF is a kind of hardboard crafted from wood fibers and put together under pressure and heat.


MDF bed tables are mainly used for home game rooms and are perfect for entertaining games with family or friends. They aren't as professional as the ones with slate beds, but these tables cost less. 


Another advantage of the MDF bed table is that it is lightweight; easier to ship, install and move. However, it isn't as responsive as the slate bed table and may swell or warp slightly over time.


This doesn’t mean that you won’t have fun when playing on MDF bed tables! It serves its purpose perfectly when manufactured properly. Most MDF tables have folding systems and multi-game opportunities. So, they are still a good solution for those who don’t have enough space at home for larger models.


(A picture of one of our MDF bed tables and a CTA like “go to store/view in store” that will lead to our webshop) 


MDF Pros


  • Small-sized tables ideal for home

  • Easy to move due to its light weight 

  • Easy installation

  • Less expensive

  • Folding system available


MDF Cons


  • Uneven surface compared to slate

  • Warping in humid places

  • Slower gameplay

  • Liquid absorption 



Honeycomb is one of the commonly used synthetic alternatives as it doesn’t warp as much as others. It is precisely what it sounds like; a honeybee-like surface pressed with some layers of hard plastic. 


The main disadvantage of this type is that honeycomb is rougher than other synthetics, which means the surface can never be as smooth as others. Moreover, they are lighter than other materials. When crafted with honeycomb, the table is more likely to be unstable.

 (A picture of a pool table with honeycomb surface)


Honeycomb Pros


  • Lightweight

  • Several layers of hard plastic

  • Wrap-resistant compared to other alternatives


Honeycomb Cons


  • Rough material

  • Uneven surface compared to others

  • Unstable table


Slatron, also named permaslate, is a layer of hard plastic on particleboard. If you are in search of a less expensive but durable option, slatron can be your lifesaver. It is the best option out of all the available synthetic materials but not better than slate.

The main drawback of slatron is that moisture can warp and decay the table over time. So, be careful and always keep it dry.

Slatron tables are just perfect for children. If your kids don’t want to become professional players and play the game only for fun, this table will do fine as it has all the features for a dynamic game. 

Another reason for choosing a slatron table is that it isn't as expensive as the slate pool table. If you aren't sure whether to enter the world of pool table tournaments, you can start by purchasing a slatron table. Only after feeling the vibes of the pool, can you choose the most expensive and professional pool table. 

(A picture of a pool table with Slatron surface and a kid playing it)


Slatron Pros


  • The most durable playing surface of synthetic tables

  • Lightweight and easy to move

  • Easy to install

  • Good for kids

  • Good for recreational play

  • Relatively inexpensive


Slatron Cons


  • Limited lifespan (5-10 years)

  • Play is not as smooth as on a slate table

  • Lighter and less durable construction

  • Susceptible to warping when exposed to moisture

  • Light enough to move when bumped


Pool table size guide

 Before buying a pool table, you should pay attention to the space you've got for it. Especially as a first-time buyer of a pool table, you'll need the exact calculations of the room and the table.

Can you imagine that even the size of the cue plays its role? So if the table fits inside your room perfectly, having enough space around it is crucial; otherwise, the players won't be able to hit the balls. 

Moreover, the people who play on that pool table should be considered, too. Adults will definitely take up more space than kids.

Where are you going to keep the cues, balls, and other accessories? Don't forget that you will also need a rack or cabinet near the pool table if you want the room to be tidy and clean.

Pool table sizes for home

In general, 8' and 7' tables are the most commonly used ones. If you have enough place, you should try larger sizes as the larger the table, the better playing experience you get. 

7’ tables will be loved by the people who enjoy going to bars and spending their evenings with friends around the pool table there. Most bar pool tables are 7’, so having one with the size of 7’ will give you the bar feels. Besides that, you will also save space at home with this pool table.

If you are going to play with a 58" cue and your pool table is 7', the ideal size for the room would be 16' x 12'. For an 8' table, it would be 17'  x 13'. 

Now, remember this great trick when buying the pool table. If you don’t have enough space at home, you can use shorter cues but buy larger pool tables.

All these calculations may sound like a headache to someone who has never had a pool table before and can’t decide which one would be perfect for their home. But no need to worry. The good news is that we have prepared a room-size pool table guide for you so that you can find the perfect pool table sizes for home or office.

Have a look at the guide below for more information!

Pool Table Room Size Guide

American pool table- The most popular size for American pool tables is 8' x 4'  if the cue is the standard 58". For the calculation of the dimensions, we considered the cue sizes as well. This will ensure that you have enough room for a fun game. Below you can find the dimensions for American pool tables:


USA Pool

Size & Playing Area

Minimum Room Dimensions

Full-Size Cue 58"

Minimum Room Dimensions

Cue 52"

Minimum Room Dimensions

Cue 48"


100" x 50"

18' x 13' 10"

17' x 12' 10"

16' 4" x 12' 2"

8' pro

92" x 46"

17' 4" x 13' 6"

16' 4" x 12' 6"

15' 8" x 11' 10"


88" x 44"

17' x 13' 4"

16' x 12' 4"

15' 4" x 11' 8"


78" x 39"

16' 2" x 12' 11"

15' 2" x 11' 11"

14' 6" x 11' 3"


(We can add a CTA here, “Discover our American pool tables” that will lead to the webshop)


English pool table- The majority of English pool tables have the size of 7' x 4'. This gives you a 6' x 3' playing area. The latter is actually the room size used for English pool tables in pubs. Below you can find the room size guide of English pool tables that will ensure you order the perfect one for your home:


UK Pool

Size & Playing Area

Minimum Room Dimensions

Full-Size Cue 58"

Minimum Room Dimensions

Cue 52"

Minimum Room Dimensions

Cue 48"


84" x 42"

    17' x 13' 6"

    16' x 12' 6"

    15' x 11' 6"


72' x 36"

16' x 13'

15' x 12'

14' x 11'


63" x 32"

15' 3" x 12' 8"

14' 3" x 11' 8"

13' 3" x 10' 8"


Snooker Table Room Size Guide

If you want to play snooker you should have completely different dimensions. Below you can find the guide for snooker game lovers:


Snooker Table

Size & Playing Area

Minimum Room Dimensions

Full-Size Cue 58"

Minimum Room Dimensions

Cue 52"

Minimum Room Dimensions

Cue 48"

12' (full)

12' x 6'

22' x 16'

21' x 15'

20' x 14'


10' x 5'

20' x 15'

19' x 14'

18' x 13'


9' x 4½'

19' x 14½'

18' x 13½'

17' x 12½'


8' x 4'

18' x 14'

17' x 13'

16' x 12'


7' x 3½'

17' x 13½'

16' x 12½'

15' x 11½'


6' x 3'

16' x 13'

15' x 12'

14' x 11'


Pool table pricing guide

So, you've decided to purchase a pool table, and you want to know how much an average table costs. When you browse the internet, you'll notice that the price range may vary from $700-$10000 or even higher. But what are the reasons for such different prices? 

Here are a few qualities that affect the price of pool tables:

Cabinet material and design- A pool table made of hardwood is always more expensive than the ones crafted with artificial materials. Once the table has a limited design, it becomes more costly.

Slate material- The playing surface of pool tables is made of various materials. The pool table bed with slate is more expensive than other alternatives. If the table bed is made of MDF wood, then it will have an average price.

Table size- The larger the table, the higher price it has. For instance, a 7' table is way cheaper than a 9' pool table.

Cloth- There are various types of fabric used for the creation of pool tables. Some of them are more expensive as they provide durability and a smoother surface.

Different features- Coin- or card-operated commercial pool tables usually add cost.

So, the simple answer to the question "how much does a pool table cost?" is "as much as you are ready to pay for it.” The price for pool tables can range up to thousands of dollars for unique models. This means you can find one based on your requirements and budget.

(For each type of table below we can add a picture and CTA “see in store/ discover more that leads to our webshop)


Affordable tables

Affordable pool tables may not be as durable as professional ones, but they can also be reliable and attractive- ideal for your home. They are priced from $1200-$2,000 and can be seen in many houses. These tables are for entry-level players who don’t play the game very often but enjoy gathering around it with friends or family members sometimes.

Affordable tables are made of MDF, plastics, and synthetic materials. With proper care, however, they can last many years.

Mid-range tables 

Mid-range pool tables are for the people who take the game more seriously and aim to participate in tournaments. These tables are also used by people who want to upgrade their business and add some fun to it. 


They range from around $2000 to $3500 and are built from higher quality materials like slates and Malaysian gum cushions. Pool tables at this price are well-finished, offer various cloth colors, and are perfect for pool halls and pubs.

Professional / luxury tables

As you can guess from the name, these pool tables are crafted for professional players using the best materials. They offer durability, longevity, and a smooth play.

The parts of these pool tables can easily be customized, including the type of cloth, wood finish, and many more.

Professional pool tables may be made of exotic woods and have the most luxurious look. If you want to have a lifetime investment and pass the table through generations, then you will only need professional/luxury pool tables.

Although these are the most expensive pool tables on the market, you will not feel like you’re wasting your money as it’s an investment and a kind of “gift” to younger generations.


Pool table 


Materials used

Toy Tables for Kids

$600 – $1,200

Lower-cost MDF Wood

Wood beds


Artificial slate

Affordable Tables

$1,200 – $2,000


MDF wood



Synthetic materials 

Mid-range Tables

$2,100 – $3,500

High-quality materials such as hardwood railings,

fully supportive legs

Malaysian gum cushions



Professional/Luxury Tables

> $3,500

Customizable materials

Exotic woods

Hand-carved designs


Pool Table Assembly

(If it’s possible, we can show the assembly process with pics. One photo for each step)


If you are going to assemble the pool table, remember that it usually takes 2-4hours from start to finish. While it is better to leave the assembly process to professionals, anyone with a bit of knowledge about pool tables can put them together.


For the assembly, you will need the following tools:


  • Socket wrench

  • Screwdriver 

  • Paint scraper 

  • Leveler

  • Beeswax 

  • Propane blowtorch


Now follow these simple steps, and the assembly process won't sound like a nerve-racking experience to you anymore.


Step 1: Choose the right place


As most pool tables are heavy and hard to move, you should find the best place for it before you start assembling the table. Keep in mind that you will need some space around your pool table so that you and your guests can roam and use the cues freely. We’ve made this step easier for you and created a size guide considering all the subtleties.


Step 2: Remove the packaging


The next step is to remove the packaging. It may sound like a simple action to do, but you should remove it carefully without damaging its parts. The table consists of small pieces like bolts and nuts. If you lose them, you'll have some issues when you start assembling the table.


Step 3: Attach the legs


Place the cabinet of the pool table upside-down on the spot it is supposed to be. If the frames aren't pre-assembled, you need to assemble them, too. Just attach the panels following the instructions given by the manufacturer.


Then you can tighten the nuts and check to see if the legs move or wobble. After making sure that the legs are tightly attached to the table, turn the cabinet up and recheck if the table is where it is supposed to be.


Step 4: Put the slate


After you check the legs and the frame, you can put the slates on the pool table. You may need the help of your friends or family members here as the slates are usually heavy and require more than 3 people to put the slate on the table.


With the help of the leveler, you can see whether the playing surface is evenly leveled or not.  Screw the slates on the table and apply the beeswax in the places between the tiles. Let the beeswax dry overnight. Then, remove the extra parts with a paint scraper.


Step 5: Felt the pool table


The last step of the assembly is to put the billiard cloth on the top of the table. Finally, attach the pockets to the table.


Now, you can start playing!

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About the Author

Margarita Chichyan

Our very own content manager/table games enthusiast is happy and ready to share her knowledge and love towards games and teach you a thing or two.

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