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It’s important to know when your pool table felt needs replacement because one in bad state would really start to impact the flow of your game. To make sure the balls roll seamlessly over the surface, the table felt should always be kept shipshape.
How long does pool table felt last? Well, usually between 5-15 years. The exact duration depends on the amount of use and the amount of care. Even if you play for hours daily, it should last you for about 5 years.
We’ll discuss that more in a bit and how you’ll be able to tell that the felt needs replacement. You should also know what mistakes might be damaging it faster and how to maintain it properly.
When should I change my pool table felt?
There’s no fixed time after which you’ll have to do this; it all depends on use. But it’s easy enough to tell if you need to re-felt. You just need to keep an eye out for one or more of the following indicators:
- It looks damaged. If it looks like it needs replacing, then it sure does. (Because usually you have to tell by feeling if the felt is damaged before you can even visually see it)
- It looks crushed or torn at places.
- When you slide you hand across it, it feels bristly like stubble.
- You can pick fluff and fuzz off the surface.
- It bunches up when you apply a little pressure with your hand.
- It moves or slides when you apply pressure, meaning it has come loose.
- It’s been about 15 years since it was last changed! (You’ll most likely need to replace it before that).
- You’re just tired of looking at the same color! (Funny, but it’s possible!)
A clean, intact, slick, and taut surface is what every expert player needs. If the condition of the table felt in any way looks like it will affect the flow of the game, you need replacement or repair.
What can damage pool table felt?
Like everything else, it’s normal for pool table felt to undergo gradual wear and tear with use over time. While some slow wearing is unavoidable, there are a lot of things to avoid doing which can damage your felt faster.
Here’s a list of some factors which can contribute to the damage:
- Friction due to the balls sliding on the surface and striking each other. If you use higher grade balls and felt, this kind of wear would be minimal and extremely slow, taking many, many years to be noticed.
- Falling or bouncing balls.
- Keeping the table uncovered when not in use, allowing dust to settle on the felt making it dirty and rougher.
- A lot of exposure to sunlight can fade the color of the felt.
- Spilling food and drinks on the surface.
- Letting pets or kids near the surface (can damage by scratching or crushing etc.)
- Using a lot of chalk on the table
- Missed shots, scoop shots, jump shots and trick shots. (The cue can often scratch the surface of the felt in these cases and cause tearing or ripping)
How to make pool table felt last longer?
Well we’ve talked about what mistakes can cause distress to pool table felt, so now we will also tell you how to maintain it properly by taking good care of it. This will make it last much longer and allow you to get your money’s worth out of it.
Here are tips and precautions to keep in mind.
- Use high grade equipment.
- Clean your balls regularly.
- Brush the table regularly, especially when it appears dirty or fuzzy. While brushing, apply strokes only in one direction, from head (breaking end) to foot. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe it clean very gently. Don’t rub, just press.
- Use a gentle vacuum or brush to remove chalk from the table. Best if you don’t use chalk at all or only very little.
- Don’t eat or drink near the table.
- Always keep the table covered when not in use. You can use a plastic, leather or faux leather cover. This would avoid dust settling on the felt or any other kind of spills and accidents.
- Keep children and pets away from the table.
- Wipe the frame and rails clean too.
- Don’t make jump or scoop shots as they can crush or rip the felt.
All these practices will help your pool table felt last longer and it could easily go up to and beyond 5 years without replacement, even if you are a regular player.
How often should you change pool table felt?
It is recommended to change it every 3 years if you’re a regular player, however if you care well for it, it could last you satisfactorily up to 10 years.
Can you reuse felt on a pool table?
Yes, you can. If you have to remove the felt for any reason (like moving the table), do so carefully so you can reuse it.
How do you take care of pool table felt?
By keeping it clean and covered (when not in use). Be very gentle on it, don’t ever rub the surface. Wipe, brush or vacuum clean very gently, in one direction.
What is the best pool table felt?
Simonis is the best pool table fabric and it is used by professional players. It is the slickest and most responsive material.