When you decide to invest in a pool table, preparation and planning are key. There are many factors that go into planning for the pool table that is right for your home and allotted space. Proper flooring is one of the most crucial factors, as pool tables can weigh up to 1,000 pounds and are not easily moved. So, what is the best flooring for a pool table? We've done the work to bring you the answer.
A very important factor in choosing the best flooring to go under your pool table is its ability to keep the table precisely leveled while being durable enough to withstand traffic, spills, and the impact of pool balls rolling off the table frequently. Linoleum is a great option, as it is a sturdy, long-lasting, easy to clean material for under your pool table. Placing an area rug under the entire pool table is also recommended.
Why else should you use linoleum? Are there other flooring alternatives that can be used? Can pool tables be placed on the second floor of the home? How long do pool tables last, anyway? For the answers to all these questions and more, just keep reading.
The Best Flooring For A Pool Table
While linoleum may be the preference of leading experts, you may prefer to keep the flooring that is already in place or opt for one of the other available options. Since pool tables should not be moved often or without maintenance and leveling, planning for the perfect flooring is key. Let's discuss linoleum as well as alternate options for flooring under a pool table.
Historically found in bathrooms, utility rooms, and kitchens, linoleum is a highly durable material. It can withstand the weight of most large appliances, making it an ideal material for the floor under a pool table. Linoleum's durability comes from the color and texture being consistent throughout the material instead of just on the surface.
Hard resin pool balls that roll from the table will not scratch or damage linoleum. However, linoleum is likely to fade with time and must be resealed regularly (once or twice yearly). Linoleum's protective coating makes clean-up simple, a quality that you will come to appreciate with the inevitable spills around your pool table.
Since linoleum has been around a while, you may be thinking of the linoleum in your grandmother's bathroom from when you were a child. Not to worry, linoleum can be found in many various colors and designs to coordinate with your home, some even closely resembling wood planks for a durable hardwood look.
Vinyl is a more modern alternative to linoleum, so the two are often confused. While they may look similar and have similar traits, vinyl and linoleum are not the same. While vinyl is easy to install yourself, linoleum requires professional installations. Vinyl, unlike linoleum, does not require any resealing.
As far as color or design choice, vinyl is as diverse as linoleum. The colors in vinyl will likely stay more vibrant than those in linoleum. They are only present on the surface of the flooring and not throughout, making scratches more visible than on linoleum.
Though not ideal due to the high probability of chips and breaks, tile is a popular choice for homeowners and can be a great flooring surface for your pool table. Tile, although slightly more expensive and not quite as durable against falling objects, would be ideal for maintaining precise leveling. It would also provide for an easy-to-clean surface for accidental spills.
Traditional hardwood floors under pool tables can be a functional alternative to linoleum, vinyl, or tile, as they can be durable. Unfortunately, they can become easily scratched. Some experts warn of the slight fluctuation of hardwood floors with humidity and temperature. Regular servicing may be necessary to maintain the precisely leveled surface. If scratches from the pool table on your hardwood is a concern, a rug can provide the perfect buffer.
If the space that you have picked out for your pool table already has carpet, chances are that the carpet also has padding under it. Padding, with regular traffic and weight, will settle and shift in different spots as weight is applied. If the carpet is new and the padding has not had time to shift and settle, regular maintenance and leveling may be required until the padding is completely settled. If the carpet has had some wear and tear, this should not be much of an issue.
Should You Get A Rug?
A large area rug under your pool table can be the perfect soft surface to place in between your linoleum, vinyl, tile, or hardwood floors and your pool table. It prevents movement and offers a cushion for walking and falling pool balls. The thickness of the rug is more of a personal preference than a factor in what rug is right for your space.
The right rug can complement your pool table while giving your entire room a fresh look. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, rugs can also provide cushion for standing and playing pool.
How Big Should A Rug Be Under A Pool Table?
Standard cue sticks are 57 inches long, so a good rule of thumb for rug size, according to experts, is five or six feet around your pool table for playing space. When picking a rug, make sure the edge of the rug will not interfere with footing while playing. With those measurements in mind, and pool tables in pub size 7 ft (52 x 90 inches), professional size 8 ft (60 x 106 inches), and tournament size 9 ft (64 x 114 inches), rug sizes will start at 10 x 13 feet.
12' x 15' Solid Plush Area Rug
12' x 15' Contemporary Area Rug
Can Your Floor Support A Pool Table?
While large pool tables can weigh up to 1,000 pounds, the weight is distributed evenly among the four legs. Five or six adults sitting around a regular table would weigh about the same. Keeping this in mind, most floors are designed to support this type of weight. For special flooring circumstances, such as floating floorings or weakened foundations, consulting a professional is always recommended. While rare, reinforcing floor supports may be necessary.
Alternative Pool Tables
Many alternatives are available to the typical, heavy pool table. More lightweight versions exist that fold for easy storage. There are budget-friendly, do-it-yourself instructions available for those who want to save some cash by building their own custom pool table. There are even dining room table/pool table combinations, perfect for a family-friendly version, where space is limited.
Hathaway Portable Pool Table
Pool Table Insert
Are Pool Tables Too Heavy For The Second Floor?
Getting a pool table up to the second floor may be tricky due to size and weight, but it is possible. While basements seem to be one of the more popular spaces to place a pool table due to the ample space and open layout, placing a pool table on the second floor of your home should not be a problem. However, getting a professional opinion regarding the need for additional floor support is, again, not a bad idea.
How Long Do Pool Tables Last?
While the pool table itself may last decades, parts of the pool table will need regular maintenance and replacement. With proper maintenance, the rubber cushion on a pool table can last between 20-25 years, depending on location and use, but can be replaced.
A pool table located in warmer, dryer conditions or outside in direct sunlight will require rubber cushion replacement sooner than that of a pool table located indoors with constant temperatures and humidity. The felt covering on your pool table normally lasts about a decade, when cared for properly by covering while not in use and not trying trick or jump shots that can damage the felt prematurely.
A pool table can be a fantastic addition to your home. When making the decision to invest in a pool table, proper planning, including planning for the perfect flooring under your pool table, is key. Whether you are planning on purchasing flooring to accommodate your new addition or working with what is already in place, knowing why certain factors in flooring are important will make the process as easy as possible.
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