So, you’ve planned an entertainment area in your home where you can have guests over and just kick back and enjoy a few games. And since you’ve pretty much watched every final of the world 9-ball championships, you’re probably thinking about putting a pool table as the grand centerpiece of your entertainment room.
Pool is one of the most well-loved games played with friends whenever we visit a bar, an arcade or the local pool hall. Sure, it’s pretty much just basically hitting balls into holes with sticks, but the socializing aspect and the competition is what makes it so rewarding, especially if you play with close friends and family.
But what if you want to bring that experience into the comfort of your own home? Luckily, because it is such a popular sport, there are all kinds of pool tables to choose from for home use. But unlike a new pair of sneakers, purchasing a pool table can be a pretty hefty investment – which brings us to the question, how much should I expect to pay for a pool table, and what should I look out for?
In this article below, we’ve got you covered – this is all you need to know before you shell out your cash and get one step closer to the ultimate home game room experience.
Factors that determine the prices of pool tables.
Before we start, let’s look at the factors that actually determine how much a pool table would cost.
- Pool Table Size
- Pool Table Design
- Bed Materials Used
- Added costs
Pool Table Size.
When we talk about pool table size, there are so many choices available on the market today – from tiny tabletop style pool tables up to the industry standard, 9-footer American style pool tables. Generally, the bigger you go, the more expensive it becomes.
Because of this, you’ll need to actually measure the amount of available space that you have in the room you’re placing it in before you even look at the sizes – a large sized pool table isn’t gonna be much fun when you don’t have any elbow room left in the room to strike your cues with!
Pool Table Design
Design plays a part in the price of your pool table as well. Pool tables are pieces of woodwork that are often constructed by skilled craftsmen so the intricacy of design on your pool table will almost always define how much it is worth.
If you put an ornately designed, handmade pool table made of solid oak, finished with brilliant gold and attractive mother of pearl inlays side by side with a factory produced pool table with a simple plain design, you’ll definitely see why they’re priced the way they are.
Bed Materials Used
Materials play a big role in the price you’ll have to pay for your pool table.
MDF Table Beds
For most basic models made for home game rooms, MDF is the construction material of choice. MDF is cheap, cheerful and it gets the job done, and many of these affordable range models come with MDF beds as well – the beds, in this case, refer to the surface that rests underneath the felt top on the pool table.
Slate Table Beds
Professional grade pool tables – the ones used in international tournaments and commercial pool halls – use slate beds instead of MDF. A slate bed is a piece of solid rock slate that usually comes up to about an inch thick. The solid rock slate is cut and machined to create a perfectly flat playing surface upon which the felt is laid out on. It is known to create perfectly true ball rolls without any unnecessary drag that is common on the cheaper MDF beds.
Apart from the pool table itself, you’re going to have to think of accessories that come with it.
Although you can expect to find package deals for pool tables that come with pool cues, balls and racks, if you’re looking for a more personalized experience and want to choose your own equipment the costs might quickly add up.
You’ll also have to find some pool cue storage options for a more professional, polished look to your game room.
Shipping costs vary by weight. And if you’re intent on getting a full-sized, professional slate bed pool table delivered to your home, expect to pay a lot more for transport costs as compared to a much lighter tabletop pool set.
One of the things that make the commercial pool hall experience so enjoyable is the lighting.
If you want to have a professional look to your pool table, you’ll probably have to set aside some cash to invest in ambient lamps to illuminate and highlight your pool table from the top down, for the best playing experience.
Other potential added costs include a high quality sound system and a comfortable lounging area for spectators in your games room.
How much does a pool table really cost?
Ideally, you’d want to set aside around $1000 for a full sized (8ft) MDF bed pool table that is well constructed and will last for years to come. Although prices may vary slightly in accordance to the build quality, brand or manufacturer and design of your pool table, you can definitely get something functional at that price point.
For those looking to splurge a little bit more on a luxury item, a new slate bed pool table for home use will probably set you back around $1800 to $3000 and upwards.
Of course, the complexity of design and materials used affect the overall prices of your pool table, but slate beds are almost always significantly more expensive than MDF ones.
MDF or slate bed? Which one is best for me?
Apart from just looking at prices, think about what you want to get out of your home pool experience. Are you just looking for a simple pool table to allow friends and family to gather around and enjoy a round or two on the cues, or are you and your potential guests already on a semi-pro level, planning on practicing for major competitions both locally and abroad?
If it’s the former, then it’s probably wiser to stick to the MDF bed pool tables, or even the lower tier options on the slate bed range if you want to have a bit of a professional feel to your games room. MDF pool tables get the job done, and will provide you and your family with many, many hours of entertainment for the years to come. Plus, MDF is usually very lightweight and is easy to transport to other locations should you need to do so.
However, one thing to keep in mind is you should always keep your MDF pool tables in a dry, climate controlled environment (meaning indoors) because the wood-based nature of MDF means it is prone to warping over time, resulting in an uneven playing surface.
For the semi-pros reading this article, investing in a full size slate bed table is probably something that you’ve already decided before you arrived here – the professional nature of slate bed pool tables sets you up for serious practice sessions, whether alone or with the sparring partners you invite into your woodshed (or games room, depending on who’s asking).
Considerations when choosing your pool table.
When choosing your pool table, consider aspects of build quality and finish as two of the most important aspects of your purchasing journey.
Pool tables are pieces of woodworking and are similar in many ways to a piece of furniture. The cabinet and the legs of your pool table should be robust enough to handle the stress and body weight as players lean into the table to take their shots. When it comes to the felt playing surface, they should be of good quality and provide years of great playing experience.
Approach cheap and bargain price pool tables with a little bit of caution – these super budget-friendly options are often constructed with much cheaper materials to drive down costs and improve the manufacturer’s operating margins.
In addition to them undercutting the market, you’re probably setting yourself up for expensive maintenance costs or even worse – having to replace your budget pool table with a good MDF table in less than a year, resulting in you spending much more than you need to.
A pool table can be a fantastic addition to your games room or the lounge where you entertain your guests. With all the choices on the market available today, sometimes you might find it hard to choose from the myriad of options that you are bombarded with every time you do a Google search.
However, after reading the tips and considerations listed in the article above, hopefully, you’ve come out a little more knowledgeable about pool tables in general and are more confident in choosing the right table for your home. And when you’ve chosen the right pool table, rest assured you’ll be enjoying it with your friends and family for many years to come – who knows, maybe you can host your own world 9 ball championships every year, too!