Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Shopping for a Pool Table Online: What You Need to Know About Quality

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Interested in buying a pool table online? Hopefully this guide will help you make the right choice. Billiard tables are  a large investment after all, so it’s important to do your research up front to make sure you are happy with the decision.

An Intro to BCA Specifications

The Billiards Congress of America, or BCA, establishes official regulations for pool tables to be used in its tournaments.

Pursuant to BCA regulations, there are three official sizes: 3.5’x7’, 4’x8’, and 4.5’x9’. The playing surface must be between 29.25” to 31” high.

For the surface, a 3-piece set of 1” thick slate is recommended. It must be covered with a billiard fabric, primarily felted wool, to prevent unnecessary ball roll-off. It should be flat to within +/- .02” lengthwise and +/- .01” crosswise.

This is not a complete or thorough breakdown of regulations. For more BCA official regulations, consult the previous link.

What Else to Consider

In addition to these regulations, there are some other considerations you should make if purchasing a pool table for your home.

A Strong Frame; Durable Construction

A low-quality frame won’t just look cheap – improper support can cause the slate surface to sag dip, crack, or become uneven.

Hardwood frames with cross-supports under the playing bed are desirable. Some modern tables, such as the playcraft Monaco 8’ pool table have metal frames. 

Read the product details and consult the seller if you have any questions about frame materials, construction, or playing bed supports.

Quality Slate, a Level Playing Surface

High quality slate, of the proper thickness (1” or greater is recommended) with a wood backing, is essential to a quality pool shooting experience.

Thin slate can crack or become easily damaged. Most reputable sellers will also disclose how precisely their slate beds have been leveled, and to what tolerances. The finer, the better. Consider professional installation, as slate is in three pieces and needs to be carefully joined and smoothed.

High Quality Rails and Cushions

Some pool tables use a synthetic and clay blend to construct the rails and cushions, but over time, this material can dry out, creating unpredictable rail elasticity.

High-quality pool tables are made with gum rubber rails, following what is called a K-66 profile that offers predictable, consistent elasticity – this is what you should look for.

Cushioned Pockets; Rubberized or Leather

Over time, hard plastic pockets and liners can crack, chip, break, or damage your billiard balls. It works, for what it’s made for, but if you can find a table with softer rubber pockets, or even leather lined pockets, these are much more resilient and longer-lasting.

A Design That Works with Your Setting

Of course, you should also consider the aesthetics of your interior: do you want a traditional looking pool table with a richly graven hardwood frame and legs, or are you looking for a more modern-looking option?

The Extras

Consider also what the pool table comes with. Consider a playing set for the essentials, such as cues, racks, billiard balls, a bridge, and chalk.

Some tables are sold with optional dining table surfaces and/or benches and even ping pong conversion tops, making them truly multi-purpose pieces of home recreation.

Where Can You Explore Quality in Pool Tables Online?

Interested in learning more about quality in pool tables? Visit They carry a wide range of pool tables, along with other high-quality game room essentials, such as shuffleboard, ping-pong, and air hockey tables, along with lots of other cool stuff.

Visit their website or get in touch with them at 877-358-5579.

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