When choosing your shuffleboard table, you want to look for playfields with kiln dried vertical solid maple boards that have been joined with tongue and groove joints, have a poured polymer surface and climatic adjusters. This will not only insure the table’s ability to withstand public and commercial use, but also has the ability to level for home and professional play. The width of the maple strips should be 3/4″ to 7/8″ and the thickness of the playfield should be at least 1.5″ on shorter tables and 3″ on longer tables.
Many less expensive shuffleboard tables rely on less costly materials. MDF is a popular material used which will have a veneer or plastic laminate top that resembles solid wood with a polyurethane lacquer finish. These tables will sometimes but not always have climatic adjusters. Tables without adjusters are subject to warping with no way to correct. Additionally, polyurethane lacquer will eventually wear out where poured polymer will not.
Some shuffleboard playfields will have the solid kiln dried solid maple playfields, but they will have 1″ or wider strips which are glued together without tongue and groove joints. This is a less expensive way to make a playfield and has a place only in home use where longevity and durability is not expected. Some of these table will have polyurethane lacquer, some will have polymer. Again, check for climatic adjusters on these tables as well.
Some shuffleboard playfields are made with multiple layers of thinner wood stacked horizontally and vertically. This is one way to have a solid playfield without the expense of the vertical joined wood. However, this is the shuffleboard equivalent of strand board. Both finishes can be found on this style table. While this style is enjoying popularity based on donated/promoted tournament play, it has not yet proven to be as durable as the better quality tables.
When purchasing any shuffleboard table, make sure that the path to your gameroom is accessible. Shuffleboards do not bend, so tight stairways or sharp turns may require other options.
International Billiards is very selective of the shuffleboard tables it carries. We do not carry any item which has the possibility of being warped when you purchase it, or give you trouble in the future under normal play. Come visit our showroom to see several different sizes and styles. Let us help you make the best decision for your budget and needs.