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In order to play pool, you need a balanced pool table that meets certain specifications. If you’re planning to own a pool table you should know the cost of your investment. So, how much is a pool table? In this article, we’ll give you an estimate of what you get at a certain price and which factors determine this price.
How Much Is a Pool Table?
Pool tables can cost from $600 and up to $15,000 depending on several factors. Prices vary by a wide margin because of the pool table’s quality. Some people can’t afford high-quality materials so there are manufacturers that use cheap materials so they can sell pool tables at a low price.
Before you decide on a purchase, you have to consider how long you plan to use the table. The more expensive a pool table is, the more likely it is to last longer. Investing in an expensive model may give you a pool table that can last for well over 40 years.
What Are the Types of Pool Tables?
People classify pool tables based on their price and how well they’re made. If you want to buy a pool table, you should know the different types of pool tables out there on the market. People usually identify pool tables as:
- Toy pool tables
- Basic or Economy pool tables
- Mid-range pool tables
- Heirloom or custom pool tables
We’ll discuss them further below and explain each type of pool table’s appeal. It’s up to you to decide which pool table works for your taste.
Toy Pool Tables
Toy pool tables commonly range from $600 to $1,200. This type of pool table generally lasts for about 3 to 5 years of use.
Manufacturers use cheap wood or laminate to build the pool table’s frame. They also sometimes use a poor-quality slate or substitute. You can get about 5 years of regular play with the type of materials this pool table uses.
Toy pool tables fit best with young children who want to learn how to play pool. Children don’t fit with regular pool tables because they’re large so if you have a kid at home who wants to play pool this table is perfect.
Basic or Economy Pool Tables
You typically find economy pool tables in regular households. They’re the starting standard for adult catered pool tables. Economy pool tables generally cost around $1,200 to $2,000. They’re great for starters or amateurs who just want to enjoy a game of pool.
If handled and maintained properly, economy pool tables can last for over a decade. However, if you want to resell it or hand it down, you need to do some refurbishing. If you’re looking for an entry-level pool table that can last a decent amount of time, this is the one for you.
Make sure you check the quality of materials used in this pool table. Especially check the quality of the slate, frame, and felt. Manufacturers often cut costs by compromising the quality of materials used in these parts.
Mid-Range Pool Tables
Mid-range pool tables generally cost around $2,100 to $3,500. Most pool table of this type normally uses high-quality materials. They also come with a variety of designs to match the interior of your home.
Mid-range pool tables usually consist of great features such as:
- Hardwood railings
- AAA Malaysian gum cushions
- Supportive leg for a level playing surface
- Unique aesthetics
Mid-range pool tables can last for over a long time, maybe a lifetime with proper care. It’s a great lifetime investment even if you want to play pool by yourself in your spare time.
Mid-range pool tables cater to people who like to play competitively from time to time. However, you can also pick this pool table if you want something durable to use with your friends. This is great when having people over for an afternoon of playing pool, enjoying homemade guacamole and chips, and drinking a few beers.
Heirloom or Custom Pool Tables
If you want your pool tables to have a sense of uniqueness, then going with heirloom or custom pool tables is the right choice. However, this pool table can be quite expensive. They cost well over $3,500.
These pool tables often have embellishments like semi-precious gems contained in parts of the piece and use exotic wood. Functioning antique pool tables have been known to sell at a range of $10,000 to $15,000.
These types of pool tables don’t really improve much in terms of durability and performance. They’re the same as mid-range pool tables in terms of durability. If you want to own a pool table that you want your guests to marvel at, then pick this.
What Factors Affect The Price of Pool Tables?
Pool tables only function as a field for you to play pool. People wonder why some pool tables are so expensive that sometimes you need to get the funds from your 401k to afford them. Below are the factors why some pool tables have such high prices.
The slate of wood or MDF (medium-density fiberboard) mainly comprises the top of your pool table. They sometimes indicate the difference between a $600 pool table and a $3,500 one.
Cheap pool tables use MDF while the more expensive ones use slate or exotic wood. MDF costs less to make and is still a wood-based product. You would also find it easier to move a pool table made with MDF because it’s lightweight. However, they’re also prone to warping if not kept in a dry environment.
Slate costs a lot more yet they are less likely to warp compared to MDF. Slate also provides a more consistent playing surface. Experienced pool players prefer playing in slate than in MDF because of this.
Tournament sized pool table usually measures 4.5 feet x 9 feet. However, you would probably have a hard time fitting it into your home like almost all homeowners. You can use pool tables as small as 3 feet x 6 feet and they’re generally cheaper.
Generally, the larger the pool table, the more expensive you can expect it to be. A larger pool table means you need more materials to make it. Regardless if they use MDF or slate, the larger, the more expensive.
You also factor in the extra weight which adds to the cost of shipping. So if you want to own a larger pool table be prepared to fork over some serious cash.
Pool tables that are expensive use high-quality materials. Naturally, if you want a well-functioning and durable pool table, you would have to spend a little more.
Expensive pool tables commonly use real wood in their legs and cabinet. It provides better support for the weight without bowing or warping. Basically, every part of an expensive pool table uses high-quality materials to give you a better pool playing experience.
Budget-friendly pool tables use cheaper materials to cut costs in order to keep the price as low as possible. They’re usually good for short term investment since they don’t have a long lifespan.
Cheaper tables are also worth considering if you have untrained pets running around. While your untrained Boston terrier puppy might look adorable, you might not feel that way when they scratch up the legs of your pool table.
Style mainly pertains to the aesthetics of a pool table. Regular pool tables focus more on function and compromise style in order to have a competitive price.
However, some people also like to use pool tables as a show of wealth. This is why some pool tables focus more on looking like a work of art rather than being a functioning pool table.
Stylistic pool tables use exotic materials and unique design details that make them different than your regular pool table. However, they also are more expensive compared to regular pool tables.
Pool tables also have their own popular brands. The more reputable and popular a brand of a pool table is, the more likely their pool tables are expensive.
If you see pool tables with the brand Olhausen or Brunswick, you will find out that they’re generally more expensive. They’re the most popular pool table brands with an excellent reputation for making high-quality pool tables.
You’ll often find these pool tables at national and international tournaments. A lot of professional pool players like playing in them also.
Features To Consider in a Pool Table
If you’re still not confident in picking out a pool table at a certain price range, these features are what you should look out for in a good pool table.
Slate provides the playing surface of a pool table. It’s usually covered underneath a billiard cloth. Slate offers a better surface for pool balls to roll in, unlike other materials.
Slate can vary in thickness for pool tables. They may come in:
- Three-quarters thick
- One inch thick
- One and a quarter-inch thick
The thicker the slate, the more stable the roll of a pool ball will have.
Slate also comes in 1 piece or 3 piece portions. 1 piece portion tends to warp or collapse in itself with time. Therefore, you should pick 3 piece portions if given the option.
Cloth or Felt
The felt is the billiard clothing that covers the slate. It typically consists of wool or a mix of wool and nylon.
The quality of your felt controls how fast a cue ball will roll and spin. You should look for heavier fabric with tighter weaves. They tend to be more durable and will last you a lot longer.
The frame of your pool table is where you house the slate and is the main body. Some people also call it the cabinet of the pool table.
Manufacturers use hardwood, veneer, or laminate wood to make the frame. You should go with hardwood if you want the best durability and design. However, they also tend to be more expensive.
You see the railings on the pool table as the perimeter around the perimeter surface. It typically has cushions attached to it.
If you have the intention of installing a new felt along the way, you should also keep in mind the rails. You have to go through dozens of staples on the railing before changing the felt. That’s why your railings should endure throughout the years from rechanging the felt.
Manufacturers use particle wood, medium-density fiberboard, or solid wood as materials for the railing. We recommend using solid wood as they have the best durability.
The cushion involved in the manufacturing of pool balls allows them to bounce back whenever they hit the perimeter of the pool table. A lot of pool tables use synthetic cushions which have a higher bounce. However, they tend to degrade faster and can cost you a lot more just from replacements.
Your best choice for cushions would be the AAA Malaysian gum that’s durable and has a consistent bounce.
Now that we’ve determined the average price of a pool table based on different factors, let’s discuss a couple of related questions.
How Much Should I Spend on a Pool Table?
It depends on your situation. If you’re just a beginner going for an entry-level pool table wouldn’t be a bad idea. If you have a love for the sport and know that you’re going to be playing it for a long time, then going for mid-range pool tables isn’t a bad idea.
Why Are Pool Tables So Expensive?
Pool tables tend to be expensive the bigger they are. Pool tables also use high-quality materials for a better pool playing experience.
Yes, you’re going fork over a lot of money yet they will also last you for over a decade with proper care. It’s a good long term investment in your hobby.
What is the Best Brand of Pool Tables?
The best brands of pool tables you can get are from Olhausen and Brunswick. Other brands also have a great reputation for mid-range and low-end pool tables such as Hathaway, Eastpoint, and Valley Pool.
What is the Best Size Pool Table to Have?
It depends on your room or your preference really. The three most common pool table sizes are 7-foot pool tables, 8-foot pool tables, and 9-foot pool tables.
- 7-foot pool tables: popular in local bars. Balls will cluster a lot because of the small space.
- 8-foot pool tables: a popular choice for home use. It gives you the flexibility to familiarize yourself with smaller or larger pool tables.
- 9-foot pool tables: standard size for regulation tournaments. If you’re aiming to compete in pool, this should be your top choice.
Pool tables tend to be very expensive yet they do last for a long time, depending on their price. Some pool tables can go up to $3,000 yet they will last you for more than a decade. If you want to enjoy playing pool in the comfort of your home for a long time, you should look for pool tables that can last for a long time.