You can expect to spend at least $2000 for a new table, accessories, delivery and installation. Pool tables (like other fine furniture) can also get very expensive depending on wood type, finishes and carvings.
The first and most important thing to do is qualify the seller. Reputable dealers will carry multiple brands so that you can choose your design and price range from many different tables built to BCA specifications. You can find billiard dealers for your city by visiting the Billiard Congress of America website. Click here to go to the BCA’s Member Database.
You want to make sure that the table you choose will last a long time. At International Billiards, we carry only top quality tables which will withstand many years of use, moves and/or recovers. And when the table gets older –pockets and rubber are standard therefore replaceable.
Look at several different manufacturers. Many of them will have similar styles with small visual differences so ask what the table is made of and where it is made. American made tables will usually have prettier woods and better finishes however won’t necessarily last longer than imported tables. Imported tables are most commonly made in China. International Billiards carries the American made Golden West line as well as the Legacy and Bailey imported lines. It’s important to look for tables in which all the wood parts are manufactured in the same plant. When the parts are brought together from different parts of the world, variances occur between wood species and stains.
You always want to make sure that the top rail is made of solid wood. The frame should be furniture grade MDF, plywood w/furniture grade veneer, or solid wood. Avoid particleboard in the structural portions of the table. If it has particleboard anywhere other than the blinds or the leg panels, (cosmetic portions) it will also have sub quality material elsewhere. Normally you will find non-structural particleboard in tables which are more contemporary style and covered with laminate.
The slate should be 7/8″ or 1″. Some promotional tables will have a ¾” slate, but for the most part – tables today have a 1″, three-piece slate. Avoid names like “Slatene” or “Slatite”, that material is fake slate and subject to warping. You will find those tables at Sears, Costco and other online discounters.
Many of today’s billiard manufacturers offer lifetime warrantees on their tables. This is a relatively safe claim to make as there are no moving parts or electronics on a pool table. The things that will wear out is the cloth (depending on how often or rough you play) and the pockets (over time, like shoe leather, wears out). Lifetime warrantees on rail rubber is common, but doesn’t cover heat, non-use, or separation from the rail. Because much of the rail rubber produced is manufactured in the same plant, specialty names do not guarantee that one style will last longer or play better than the next.
Whether the table is sold to you with the accessories and installation separate, or part of the package – always look at the bottom line. Never trust the word “free”. “Included” is a more accurate word.
At International Billiards, we put a fair price on our tables every day so you can get the same price on regularly stocked items if you decide to purchase now, or want to do it next week. Whenever possible, we make special purchases from our suppliers and pass those savings on to you. Know that as long as you are buying from a real company with a real store front, you are probably going to get a good quality table.
International Billiards is a family owned and operated Billiard Company which began in 1940. We have been in our Washington Avenue location since 1968. We hope to be able to help you in the near future.