Commonly asked questions, answered by the Pool Table King.

What colors and types of billiard cloth are available?

There is much more than green!

DK Billiards stocks about 20-30 different colors and styles of pool table felt. We have a felt color guide, but it is preferred if you come into the showroom to pick out your color if possible.

>> View our billiard felt color chart here <<

What colors and types of billiard cloth are available?

Measuring for a pool table can be tricky. Not only do billiard tables come in different sizes, cue stick lengths also play a big role. To help make things a little easier for you, we have a handy-dandy game room planning guide. Print it out and arrange to your liking. Then bring the guide to our showroom and let us help you find the right size products for you.

>> Gameroom Planning Chart <<<

What is a standard size pool table? How do I know what size table I have?

Most people refer to an 8′ pool table as a standard for home use. The playing field is 44″ x 88″. Most coin-operated “bar” pool tables are 7′ and tournament sized tables are 9′. The best way to find out what size pool table you have is to measure from cushion tip to cushion tip on the short side, or width of the table. The length is always double the width. The only time you should measure the outside dimensions of your pool table is when you are ordering a custom cover.

>> How to Properly Measure Your Pool Table <<<

How much does a pool table weigh?

A typical 8’ slate pool table weighs about 750-850 pounds.

How long will my felt last?

If the pool table is used daily for four to six hours you can expect your billiard cloth to last about 3 years. Most people, however, will choose to change the cloth color long before it is worn out. You can prolong the life of your cloth by brushing your table regularly and even using a small handheld vacuum is good to remove all of the chalk that settles into the cloth. Remember, keeping your pool table covered is the best way to protect and preserve your felt.

Is this the same as Danny K’s Billiards?

We are not affiliated with Danny K’s. Naming is merely a coincidence as a result of David’s name. Danny K’s founder, Danny Kuykendall, is widely recognized as one of California’s leading tournament directors. He is also a world-class pocket billiard player who believes in the etiquette of the game and describes it as an art form. For more information about Danny K’s Billiards and Sports Bar visit dannyks.com.

How do I brush my pool table?

The best way to brush your pool table is to stay in one direction. This will keep the nap of the cloth uniform. It is also okay to use a small handheld vacuum cleaner to help remove any chalk dust that has settled onto the slate bed. A lint roller is also a lifesaver for dark cloth colors or pet hair and is safe to use.

Is it okay to move a pool table without taking it apart?

99% of the time the answer is “NO”! The only exceptions are pool tables that are constructed to be tipped over onto its side (coin operated tables) or in a situation where there is a large opening that the table can be dollied out as a whole. You should still consult a professional before moving your pool table yourself. Even tables in these situations can be damaged if they are improperly man-handled. NEVER, EVER take the legs off of a furniture style pool table or turn it on its side to try and fit it through the door. This WILL cause major damage to the leg mounts, blind aprons and/or slate, and cost a small fortune to fix.
See our guide: How to Move a Pool Table

How much space do I need for my pool table?

A standard 44” x 88” (8’) pool table needs a minimum of 42” around the playing field. Ideally, you should have at least 58” for a standard sized cue. Check our Room Chart for more info.

Is it necessary to replace the felt when moving a pool table?

No. The billiard cloth (aka felt) can usually be reused if it has been removed carefully and has not been re-stretched more than two times before (except worsted cloth). Remember that any tiny nicks or small tears in the cloth will get slightly larger and more noticeable when re-stretched onto the slate bed, and refelting at the time of your move or setup saves you around $100 in labor.

How long should my cushion rubber last?

Generally, 20-25 years, although some cushion rubber lasts longer. If the pool table has seen direct sunlight, cushion life will be greatly reduced. We have also seen pool tables less than five years old that have “dead” cushions. It is unusual but it happens. You can test your cushions by rolling a ball firmly against a cushion on the short side. It should make 3 or 4 cushion-to-cushion contacts before coming to rest. The telltale sign of a dead cushion is a “thud” noise on contact. Cushions should be quiet and lively.

How high should I hang my lamp above my pool table?

There should be 32-36” between the bottom of the lamp and cloth on the slate.

When should I replace my cue tip? (How can I prevent tears in my cloth?

You should check your cue tip regularly for wear. When the leather tip wears down to the thickness of dime it is time to replace it. By keeping your tip in good shape, you will not only get consistent play but also prevent small cuts in the cloth from miscues.
Related Post: Oops, I Ripped My Felt!

Can I put a pool table upstairs?

Yes! There is usually an additional fee to move a pool table up a flight of stairs, but there is no reason that you can not put it there. We are assuming that your place is up to code. If you are unsure please consult a licensed general contractor. The pool table is probably as heavy as three or four big men.

What are billiard balls made of?

Modern, high-quality billiard balls are made of pure phenolic resin. Lower quality balls are made of polyester or other polymers. Resin balls last longer, clean easier, and prevent burn marks in billiard cloth. Ivory balls are extremely rare and have not been used for decades for ethical reasons.

What do I do? I spilled my drink on the pool table cloth!

Remember that prevention is key. You should not eat or drink near your pool table. But, if you do find yourself in this situation, act quickly. Absorb as much liquid as possible with clean dry paper towels. The longer the liquid sits, the more it will stain the cloth.
We offer billiard cloth embedded with Teflon to help you keep your pool table clean. This is a great preventative measure, but secondary to not setting your drink on the rail of your pool table.

How long does it take to

Setup a new pool table? Approximately 1.5 – 2 hours.
Move a pool table from one house to another? About 3 hours, not including drive time or flights of stairs.
Refelt a pool table? About 2 hours.

 

See, don’t you feel smarter?

79 thoughts on “Frequently Asked Questions

  1. I purchased a used slate billard pool table a few months ago and the frame recently snap to the floor is there a way to just purchase a frame pool table in great condition and do you know around what price?

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “snap to the floor”. Did a small piece of wood/mdf fall on the floor underneath? If that is the case don’t worry about it.

  2. Loved reading every reply! Thanks. I acquired a c.1980 Brunswick Orleans. Question #1. Leather pockets and fringe reeks of basement mildew smell. Any solutions? Question #2. It’s in pieces so how might I know if it’s an 8ft. or an 8.5 Pro? Thank you!

    • Pockets can be replaced if you cannot get the mildew smell out of leather. Fringe can also be replaced separately. 8′ slates are 51″ wide and pro 8′ slates are 53″ wide.

    • Good question DJ, so the only way to feasibly convert a non-slate pool table to a slate pool table is if the frame is sturdy enough to withstand the added weigh of the slates or slate if you were thinking of using a single piece. Most non-slates WILL Not support the additional weight. Typically a 7-8ft slate(s) can weigh upwards of 300-550 pounds. Food for thought my friend.
      Best wishes, PTK.

    • I totally agree with PTK. Changing a non-slate table to slate will cost you more money, time, effort, etc. than purchasing a used slate pool table.

  3. I just got a used pool table and have it all set up but noticed where the leg is attached it was knocked loose at some point and fixed with brackets. It appears they screwed the leg plate into the side of the cabinet and split the wood. It seems sturdy but should I jack up the table and epoxy the split area then put it all back together? just nervous it will fall over time.

    • Well Clint that’s a very serious question. A slate pool table crashing down to the floor would do major damage. If you want to be 100% safe then jacking with a hydraulic floor jack and a few 2×6’s for a stable lifting platform would allow you to steadily elevate enough to remove the load to the point of being able to remove your damaged leg mount and fortify it.
      Best wishes, PTK.

  4. just bought a house and the sellers left a sportscraft 8ft pool table in the basement. it needs new felt and to be properly leveled. is it worth the $ to have this done on a table that only costs about 400$ brand new?

    • Hi Kevin, I would not invest any money on this pool table as it’s most likely not a slate pool table. Instead of spending upwards of 450 dollars on a non-slate I’d save up your money and invest in a used slate pool table. Great question, DK.

  5. My wife is wanting to sell our Connely 4′ x 8′ pool table. How can I find out what’s a fair price?

    • It’s very difficult to appraise a pool table online. If you are in the OC area please contact us directly.

  6. Spreader bars are used in heavy construction to lift heavy objects such as large diameter horizontal storage tanks, turbines etc. This way there is no choking pressure on the item being lifted. Therefore it won’t be damaged by it’s own weight. It just sits on the 2 bars and goes along for the ride! The bar would go under each end of the object being lifted. Each spreader bar has 2 cables or straps 1 on each end of the bar (on the opposite sides of the table) 1 cable goes on each side of the object i.e. pool table. A 2nd spreader bar would be positioned at opposite end of the table. The bars would go under the table perpendicular to the sides and parallel to the end legs or moved closer to the center equidistance from each end to take any possible bowing in the center portion of the table. A 2nd spreader bar would at the opposite end of the table. Now you have a cradle sort of for the table to sit in. Good example of what a spreader bar looks like would be a child’s backyard swing. Using the proper equipment the table could be lifted and sat on a trailer for transport. Do you think moving a table in this way it could cause any damage to the table..

    • This sounds excellent in theory, but there are very few situations that could benefit from use of spreader bars. Most pool tables need to be moved through a door/threshold. Most pool tables will not fit through without turning on its side. Turning a pool table on its side, is a poor choice as the weight is not evenly distributed and the rails and aprons cannot handle the weight of the slate. Also, three piece slates have joints that cannot be tweaked. They will become unlevel even at the slightest twist of the frame. You’d also have to assume that the frame is square, because trying to use spreaders on an arched frame would not be ideal. Also, your scenario requires four strong individuals, as opposed to the traditional method of two.

      So…. carrying an approximately 900 pound object through a door (even a double door) while remaining completely level (and no one getting hurt) is nearly impossible. Then, to load in a trailer (which we use on occasion), and get it to the next location, likely through at least another door would be a crazy feat even for the most sturdily built billiard tables. Then, to try and properly balance a fully assembled table after a move like this… it’s just not something we’d recommend.

      It’s better for your table and your health to leave pool table moving to an experienced billiard mechanic.

  7. Hello, I have just acquired a Brunswick Orleans pool table and I am wondering what you know about the value of this table. It was already taken apart when I purchased it. The slate is crated but all the other pieces are loose. It was purchased in an auction lot and we are looking to sell the table. Any suggestions on price or if we should assemble the table to sell it? The condition of the cushions is unknown and it would need to be re-felted.

    • I’m sorry but there just isn’t enough information provided to value the table. Value is mostly based on condition. Please contact us directly if you are in the Orange County, CA area.

      If you are not, please contact your local billiard mechanic.

  8. Hi. Can you please tell me where and if I can purchase a replacement pocket cover (Hawthorne Part No. 51-205653)? My internet search was unsuccessful. THANKS!!!

    • Hi Rita, if you have a pool table with leather pockets and you’re trying to replace the leather iron cover then yes. You need to contact Hood Leather Goods and speak to Alex Kress.
      Best wishes, David

  9. I have an 8ft Legacy being delivered and set in place before my rec room contractor is available to hang and wire-up table light. Please advise safe options for my contractor to position light. Is there a safe method that can be used to allow the contractor to stand on the table, or is scaffolding needed?

    • Hi Paul, if it were my pool table I would cover with thick movers blanket and then lay a sheet of .75 inch plywood over the blanket I think you’ll be just fine. If your contractor is willing to erect scaffolding then go that route. Best wishes, PTK.

  10. I recently had a table installed and am noticing a very slight movement of the ball to one side of the table as the ball is stopping. Apparently the table isn’t exactly level so I’m wondering what are the industry tolerances for table leveling. Is this ok or should I get try to get the company to come out and fix?

    • Hi Greg, it could be slightly out of level causing the balls to drift. If it’s annoying you then definitely complain to the billiards service company you hired. I always use a starrett machinist’s level to level my pool tables because some of my clients are that picky.
      Best wishes, PTK.

  11. What a great site and thanks for all the information listed above. I have a brunswick mission style table made with brazilian hard wood. Can I leave it an in an unheated cottage over the winter and not cause damage? Cottage is located in Ontario Canada. Thanks

    • Dave, great name and although I’m an expert on just about every aspect of a pool table I’m not an expert on wood tolerances when exposed to drastic or extreme temperature change. I’m guessing it would be ok I’d think extreme heat would cause more damage than cold. Dave

    • Devious question Laura, I guess you could start an ugly rumor that one of the teammates has started playing 9-ball in his or her spare time. Do tell of the outcome, I smell a plot line for a Snooker Soap Opera! Cheers, Dave.

  12. Great site with great information! Two questions:
    1) I’m building a new construction home that will be done in June. Have you heard of people buying pool tables right away in a new construction home? Or should I wait awhile for the house to settle?
    2) I plan on putting an 8′ pool table in my basement (maybe an Olhausen) and we will have a fully enclosed basement with no walkout. The stairs to get into my basement from our main floor has 10 steps, a turn, and then another 10 steps. Will this be an issue for the pool table? I plan on having my pool table professional delivered and installed.

    Thanks!

    • Hey Mark, great questions. I’d say buying the pool table now while entry into the basement may be easier before its finished is a good idea. The settling is not a big issue as you can always hire a pool table mechanic to come back out after 6 months go by to re-check the level. As far as waiting until the basement is complete may be more difficult to navigate your tricky switchback staircase especially if their is a height clearance issue with the stairs going down. Most pool tables can be knocked down completely which would help in your case but some pool table frames do not come apart completely and thus the height issue.
      Good luck, Dave.

  13. How difficult would it be to take a 96″ by 52″ non-slate pool table down a flight of stairs (to a basement) without taking it apart? And approximately how many people would you need to do that job? Thanks

    • Ask yourself how difficult it would be to take a 7ft couch with foldaway bed downstairs to a basement. It will be a much better idea to disassemble your pool table then move downstairs and reassemble.
      Good luck, David.

  14. Lots of great advice! I’ve recently made a 600 mile move with my table. I’m putting it back together now and the 3 piece slate was originally joined with plaster-of-paris. I have carefully scraped that off the edges and surface and wiped the remainder off with a damp cotton towel. My question is, there seems to be no end to debate online as what to use to fill the seams. Beeswax looks to be the most traditional, but there’s also Durham’s rock hard water putty, plaster-of-paris, even autobody Bondo. Suggestions? Pros Cons? I bought beeswax, but haven’t used it yet because it seems that’s a “no going back” material if I use it. Thanks BM!

    • John, depending on how hot a climate your pool table is located in makes a difference. Being in So Cal our climate stays pretty mild but some cities out here can get pretty hot. If I were setting up a pool table in a room that was not insulated very well and/or if the ambient temperature could rise above 95 degrees my choice for sealing the slate seams would be Durham’s Water Putty. Although 80 percent of the pool tables I install here in Orange County, CA are indoors so I always use Beeswax for sealing my seams.
      Best regards, David.

  15. What a were given SN outdoor pool table that was in bad shape., the slate needs cleaning and we nave removed it. What it the best product to use on it? Thanks

    • Hello Glenda, if your outdoor pool table felt is Sunbrella then I’d say hose and wash down with soap and water. If the table has traditional pool table felt then you’ll have a tough time cleaning that. Good luck, David

  16. I have a gulley ball return style pool table. The returns were covered in rubber which has hardened and is coming to pieces, so the balls fall through to the floor. What is the best way to repair this issue?

    • I’d disassemble the pool table and replace all the gulley boots. Maybe while you’re at it refelt the slate and bumpers too.
      Best regards, David

  17. I’m shopping for a used pool table and am willing to pay for quality. That said, the opposite is also true, I dont want to overpay either. can you recommend a website or resource that compares a wide range of makes and models? ive searched but havent connected with anything solid. everything on Craigslist in our area is listed at $1500, so marktprice isnt going to tell me anything. thanks a lot!!!

    • Good question, the best thing for you to do is visit the sellers of prospective pool tables and inspect them for damage and the condition of the cushion rubber and the age/brittleness of the pockets. The felt may be worn but that’s expected on a well used/loved pool table. I’d look on the numerous on-line classifieds to locate some prospects in your area. Try to stick with name brands such as Connelly, Olhausen, Beach and Golden West Billiards as these are all great American made pool tables.
      Best wishes, David

    • It wouldn’t be ideal, especially with a newer model or small (7′ or 8′). A ladder on the width (short side) of table would be the best.

  18. When should billiard balls be replaced? Current sets are 16 years old and Tables are used every day. Pool room is part of an active adult community and is a main attraction.

    • Good quality balls such as Belgian Aramith ball sets can last 30 years or more as long as they are cleaned regularly. If they become chipped or pitted you may want to replace them for aesthetic reasons.

  19. How can I tell if the felt on my table needs replacing?

    I’ve brushed it properly and vacuumed it lightly. I’m sure it’s at least 6 years old, but still looks good. Balls move slightly when I remove the rack. Occasionally a ball will change course only slightly when almost stopped although there appears to be no debris on the table. Also, I’ve checked level with a 4 & 6 foot levels and found it to be perfectly level.

    • Usually pool table felt, used lightly as in home use would last 3-7 years. If the felt has been exposed to sunlight or excessive play we’ve seen some pool tables needing new felt after a year or two. Best regards, B.M.

    • Hello Brian, its possible that you either did not purchase a “magnetic” cueball or your coin-op pool table does not have a magnet installed inside the ball separating area. Another possibility is the age of the pool table may have something to do with it. We’ve seen some very old (40-50 year old) Valley Pool Tables not work properly with certain “mag” cueballs. In this case we would recommend using a “mud ball” which has more metallic particles mixed into it which will help with weaker magnets.
      Happy cueing, DK.

  20. How much can I sell my used pool table for? Its 8ft by 5ft.
    Its a coin operated one, has the sticks and all the pool balls, even extra ones, perfectly level, no warping, just needs felt, its a Pace-Setter.

    • Chelsea, the Pacesetter is not a mainstream pool table manufacturer and thus would not yield as high of a value as a Valley, Global, Dynamo or Murrey coin pool table. That being said doesn’t mean yours is junk it’s just not used commercially like the others I mentioned. It’s probably a great pool table for someone to have in a garage or basement but just not in a bar. I’d guess and say its worth $400.
      Regards, PTK.

  21. I Dont have my rails on just slate. How do I measure it to get the correct felt? I measured from the east side straight down. And its 94 inches.

    • Most 8′ three piece slates measure 95″. If it measures 94″ it could be a one piece pro 8′? I don’t have enough information to make a call on the exact size. Measuring the width might help, as will number of slates and brand.

  22. my pool table is currently put together on my cement basement floor. I plan to put flooring down and need to move my pool table slightly out of the way so I can add flooring underneath the area. Is it possible to move the table over just enough to get wood down then lift it back onto the new flooring without throwing the slate out of wack?

    • It’s not advisable, but might be able to be done with the right tools and experience. For the most accurate roll, you should have the table disassembled, moved off, then reassembled and leveled on the new floor.

  23. question. i have a 8ft leisure bay table with 3 piece slate. my wife wants to turn the pool table so we can make room for the cough she purchased. how do i do this, is it possible to do without cracking the wax between the slate. thanks

  24. I recently bought a brunswick hawthorn table that’s about 20 years old. I’m replacing the bumpers but the felt looks like it’s in great shape. No marks or nicks. Does the felt “go bad” on it’s own? Or can I reuse it if it has no visible signs of wear and tear? Thanks.

    Tony

    • Hi Tony, yes if you carefully remove the staples from the bottoms only you can recushion and restaple the cloth.
      Best, David.

  25. A friend of mine just gave me a pool table but it doesn’t have legs I plan to build some but my question is how long should I make the legs. I don’t know if that is a strange question I’m good at pool as far as going to the bar but I don’t know much about the table. Any ideas??

    • Danielle, leg height varies by model. All that matters is that the playing surface height is about 30-31 inches from the floor.
      Good luck, DK.

  26. My wife wants to place an area rug under our table. Is it ok to lift one side at a time using the rails? It would be pretty hard to lift from the bottom of the sides since they are recessed slightly. I have a photo, but I don’t see an upload attachment feature here. Thanks.

    • Bill that’s a good idea in theory but it will be very difficult to do if concerned with perfect placement of the rug. Just as important to note is the fact that you may cause severe damage to the rails and or slate. If you are dead set on trying not to hire a professional then I’d say you’d want to have at least four strong backed and thick quaded studs to lift from the frame only. The safest and sturdiest place to lift a pool table is at the connection between the leg and the corner of the cabinet. Please bemail careful. Best wishes, David Kay.

    • Hi John, yes totally fine. I do it as often as possible. Hire a good billiard mechanic who understands how to make it work. Best wishes, Dave.

      • thanks for your quick reply dave, but let me rephrase my question… my felt is still in good shape but my cushions have hardened.. the local billiards place said it has to be replaced with the change out of the cushions.. I had watched a couple videos on the subject and it looked like it could be done without having to put new felt on the table.. was just looking to find out what my options really were.

        • Hi John, Its totally possible to do given you’re working with a skilled billiard mechanic. The only way it wouldn’t work is if the existing rail felt was trimmed so closely to the row of staples that it would not be possible to re-grasp the felt and re-staple it back down to the rail bottom. Best of luck, Dave.

  27. Hi om thinking of buying a pub pool table but it will have to go out the back (undershelter) I just wanted to know what cloth 2 use seeing as if I was to use normal cloth the condensation would ruin it

    • Hey Connor, if you could find some material such as Sunbrella which is impervious to weather that would be a good choice. The only downside is that it’s very hard to install around corners and plays very fast. Good luck my friend, Dave

  28. Instead of selling or trashing my older pool table, can I relocate it to my huge outdoor patio area with limited risk.? I am prepared to cover it from expsure when not in use. What should I anticpate.? Give me the bad news first.!

    • Hey, if Drew Carey can have a pool table in his backyard why not you? I’m in Southern California and wouldn’t think twice about putting the pool table in the backyard as long as an easyup were used along with a nice heavy duty cover to provide protection from the elements. Unfortunately if you’re in an area where snow and rain and freezing temperatures are common you might want to think twice. But what the heck, if it’s a free pool table who cares? I’m pretty sure it would survive in your extreme weather conditions. You can play with the table while it lasts, just think Drew Carey style! Best regards from sunny California, Dave.

  29. I have a furniture style table with 3 piece slate I need to move it to recarpet the room. I do have enough room to put it on dollies and roll it out of the way. Will it hurt the table to lift it onto and off dollies? I plane to have it releveled after I’m done moving it.

    • Dave, it is feasible to move a pool table in the way that you’ve described as long as you lift from the frame carefully do not twist with pool table at all slide it gently out of the way on the dollies should not harm it in the least obviously releveling afterwards as a necessity thanks for reading my blog, Dave.

  30. My son and his friend moved our beautiful regulation size pool table just enough that the leveling shims are sticking out all crazy. It looks terrible. Is there a safe way to lift each corner to slide them back into position before his dad notices this bad idea gone arhy.

    • That’s unfortunate Joan, the boys may be able to gently slide the pool table back into position. Then with the help of a hydraulic or scissor jack raise the frame ever so slightly to reinstall the leveling shims neatly back in place.
      Best regards, David Kay.

    • Hello IRA, no it makes no difference what color the bed is and what color are the rails are you can do to tone force different team colors it will be fine

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