How to Choose the Right Billiards Table for Your Space
A billiard table instantly elevates a room’s style and function. Not only are they great resources for entertainment and leisure, but their style and craftsmanship makes any space more beautiful.
But how do you choose the right table for your space? There are several things you should consider before purchasing your table.
One of the most important considerations is size: Will the table fit in the space and function? There are several different sizes of tables. In the US, the standard sizes for residential billiards tables is 8 feet (88″ by 44” play surface). This will allow you to play the most popular billiards games in the US which are eight-ball and nine-ball pool. A general rule of thumb is you need to have 4&1/2 to 5 feet of space between the outer edge of the table to the wall for any shot where the cue is perpendicular to the table-- so for a standard 8 foot table, a room should be about least 14’ by 18’. If your room is slightly smaller than that, there are options! First, the majority of shots are not going to be totally perpendicular to the table but at an angle, offering a bit of wiggle room. Also, to accommodate game play, you can purchase shorter cues (48" or 52"), which would allow for smaller space between your table and walls.
Other common table sizes include 7-ft, 7-ft+ (small bar box), 8-ft+ (large bar box), 9-ft, and 12-ft (for playing Snooker).
The table below will show you the size of room you will need to accommodate standard billiard tables:
How will your billiards table function in your space? Some people have enough space that they can designate an entire area for playing pool. Other spaces need to be more versatile, and there are options!
- Dining table tops: some tables come with a wooden top that can function as a dining room table or desk. This gives you many options for where you can put your billiards table.
- Convertible tables: Want to play more than pool? Get a convertible top that allows you to have a ping pong table and billiards table in one!
- Different billiards games: the term “billiards” captures several different games: eight-ball pool, nine-ball pool, snooker, and the classic billiards. Eight-ball is the most typical game played in the US. The name is a bit misleading, as there are actually 15 balls (7 striped, 7 solids, and the 8 ball) and the cue ball. For ultimate play in eight-ball, you need at least a 7’ table. For nine-ball pool you use a diamond rack and only nine balls (plus a cue ball), which could accommodate smaller tables. If you want to take it old school and play Snooker, a popular British style of billiards, you’ll need a 12-ft table to accommodate 22 balls. Which game(s) you are planning to play can help you determine which table to buy, and how large of a space you need.
Billiards tables are beautiful. They will elevate any space they are in. To get the most out of your table, consider the following design tips:
- Color scheme: What colors are already in the space? What colors do you want? There are many different wood finishes on the frame of the table, and you can customize the color of felt to match your motif
- Style: Are you going for a more traditional billiard style? Consider a carved wooden frame with maroon or green felt. Want something more modern? Consider a sleek table frame with neutral felt (black, tan, gray). Going for a more shabby-chic look? Tables with a neutral and textured finish will fit into any shabby-chic space, including farmhouse chic or beach shabby. This style is especially good for vacation homes.
- Lighting: Amount of light in the space is important for playing the game. For ultimate functionality, have pendant lighting directly above your table. Lighting options also help tie the style of your room and home together.
A billiards table is an investment. You want to ensure that you are protecting your table and keeping it top-quality. It doesn’t take much to keep your table clean and functional. Consider these options:
- Table cover: purchasing a table cover alongside your table will keep the game area free from wear and tear, dust, and moisture in the air.
- Table cleaner: to clean the felt on your table, make sure you have the appropriate cleaning materials including brushes, and specialized sprays. Using typical cleaning products on your table can ruin it, so make sure you are using appropriate supplies
- Indoor/outdoor: Unless your table is certified for outside use, do not keep it outdoors. This will cause quick wear and tear. Indoor tables should be kept climate and moisture controlled to ensure the wood and felt do not warp.
We're here to help!
Size, function, style and preservation are the most important things to consider when buying your table, but every space is different! If you need more guidance, or just want someone to bounce ideas off of, you can reach out to Billiard Buddies at email@example.com. You can even send us a picture and measurements of your space and we’ll offer some ideas of our own! We’re here to make sure you get something you’ll be happy with for years.