The 5 Basics When Buying a Quality Pool Table

#1. Pool Table Size Matters

When you shop for a pool table, measure the outer dimensions of your room, and choose from three regulation sizes: 7 foot, 8 foot and 9 foot.

The pool table dimensions for are very important because you want to make sure to allow enough room around the table for your cue stick to clear walls and posts. At Nashville Billiard and Patio, we recommend that you allow 5 feet of clearance all around the playing area. Check our chart of pool table dimensions and room sizes.

#2. Slate is a MUST

Always purchase a pool table that has a 3 piece 1 inch thick matched framed slate. That is what the Billiard Congress of America specifies and there is no substitute. Slate is the only pool table surface that will not warp. Keep in mind that a set of slate weighs around 600 pounds and you need a good table frame under it in order to stay level. Which takes us to #3:

#3. All Pool Tables are NOT Created Equal

The way a billiard table is constructed is arguably the most important thing to know.

Avoid tables that have the big metal brackets in the corner of the frame, and watch out for the misleading sales gimmick of quad center bracing. A pool table with a well-made frame – from Olhausen or Legacy Billiards – does not use quad beam construction because their frames are built properly in the corners and simply do not need it.

If your only finish option is a painted-on finish that hides the wood, it isn’t solid hardwood. Quality pool tables are made from true solid hardwoods such as maple, oak, cherry, or tulipwood. A solid hardwood table should have a nice wood stain that allows the beauty of the wood to shine through.

Also, make sure that the table cushions are truly warranted for life. If any of our cushions dry rot, we will replace the cushions at no cost to you.

#4. What Style Is Right For You?

Finding a style that matches your décor could not be any easier. At Nashville Billiard & Patio we offer the latest styles, be it Modern, Traditional or Transitional. Nobody can offer you more wood finish combinations, sizes or felt options. Everyone at Nashville Billiard and Patio has decades of experience outfitting our clients’ game rooms. Since 1953, it is still what we do best.

#5. How Much Does A Quality Pool Table Cost? (aka Your Budget)

Pool Tables have a wide price range from $1500 to $15,000. You don’t need to spend $15,000 to get superb quality, but you will not get top quality for $1500 either. A good quality solid hardwood table can be purchased for right around $2000. Any store selling new pool tables, claiming solid hardwood for $1599 or $1799 is simply not being honest with the customer. The extra couple hundred bucks spent up front will pay off to you in the long run – you will get a table that lasts longer, stays level, and has good cushions. To top it off, quality pool tables command good resale values.

If your budget is less than that, remember – Nashville Billiard and Patio always has good quality pre-owned pool tables. They may have a couple of bumps on them, but remember that quality-made pool tables will last for years and years, and provide a lifetime of family fun.

Most ‘American’ games of pool are usually played by ‘two or more’ players, which means either 2, 3 or 4 players, in most circumstances. If you have a large family, you can get very creative and play different types of pool games – or invent one of your own!

About the Author:

Cliff Gilchrist Co-Owner Nashville Billiard and Patio Blog Author

Cliff Gilchrist is co-owner of Nashville Billiard & Patio, Nashville, Tennessee. He is passionate about high quality pool tables, and has worked with (and around) them since he was a child. One of Cliff’s greatest delights is to visit with customers years after delivery, and hear the stories of how their pool table brought the family together for rollicking good times – year after year. You can call Cliff at the store 615-254-7882 or email him:

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