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Playing pool at your nearest bar or pool hall is great fun, but usually every serious, professional player has their personal pool table at home too. However, it can be confusing deciding which pool table to buy while considering so many factors like space, design, and price. If you’re not a seasoned player, you might even have trouble differentiating between a $1000 and $10,000 pool table and deciding which price is worth it. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you decide.
How much do pool tables cost? Pool tables can cost anywhere from $100 toy tables, to $2500 mid-range, home use tables, all the way up to $20,000 custom or antique tables. Generally, smaller, wooden tables would cost much less than full-size, slate-bed pool tables like those used in tournaments.
Those are not the only features which affect price though. We will now give you a complete guide on the factors that decide how much a pool table costs, as well as the different kinds you can buy in different price ranges.
Factors that affect the price of a pool table
There are many factors that affect the price of a pool table, and we’ve listed them all for you to know what to look for when buying one.
Wood vs Slate
The broadest category in pool tables is of the type of material they are made of: slate or MDF wood. Pool tables with slate beds are more expensive, almost 3x of similar-sized wooden ones, and for good reason too. A slate table is far more durable and accurate, making for smooth play, while wooden ones are susceptible to warping with humidity and temperature changes, and they aren’t as slick either.
If you are a casual pool player or budget is your primary concern, you can go for MDF, getting a worthwhile table for around $1000. In comparison, if you were to buy a standard slate table, it would easily cost you $3000 and upwards.
The ones you see in tournaments, pool halls, arcades, and bars, all have slate beds. A pure pool player would never skimp on quality!
Of course, the bigger the table, the more material goes into manufacturing it- thus giving it a bigger price tag. Standard pool table sizes are 7ft, 8ft, 8.5ft, and 9ft tournament-size tables. Table top versions are usually smaller than standalone ones and much cheaper since they don’t even have leg support.
The size you will buy also depends on how much space you have in your room as much as anything else. In home settings, many people get smaller ones to fit comfortably.
Number of slates and their thickness
A slate bed could be made up of one, two, three, four, or five pieces of slate. Usually, a small low-end table would use thin, 1-piece or 2-piece slate beds. However, a full-size 9ft slate table will have a 3-piece slate bed at least, and more thickness too. Tournament tables have 5-piece slate beds and are the thickest.
Pool table cabinet designs can be simple, or very ornate. They can also be custom-made to fit in with the interior of the house. If you are looking for a pool table which is very aesthetic and intricately designed, it will cost you much more of course.
On the other hand, if you just need a functioning pool table and not one to make a design statement, you can save a ton on a simple design.
The quality of the felt material also determines the level of play. A high-grade felt like this will allow the balls to roll along very easily and will not wear out soon. Naturally, it will also be pricier.
Low-grade felt is cheap but can cause balls to drag and wears out easily, with lint and fluff sticking out of it after a small period of use.
If you buy a pool table from a premium brand, the costs will be higher. Although these brands have established a reputation for superior quality pool tables and don’t disappoint performance-wise, it is true that just the brand name can add a big weight to the price tag.
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Assembly and transport
Some side-costs associated with a pool table are the shipping and assembly costs. If the pool table is a full-size slate-bed table, you will almost certainly need professional help to move and assemble it- in order to avoid unnecessary damage.
Smaller wooden tables cost less to transport compared to hefty slate tables.
Pool tables according to price range
Now we will classify the kinds of pool tables that you can get within specific price ranges.
$0 – $500
Believe it or not you can buy pool tables for as little as $50, but these are usually mini tabletop versions. A good standalone pool table, even a toy-sized one, will cost you at least $100 – $500 and up to $1000 depending on quality. These are only suitable for children and very casual play, lasting only 3-5 years at maximum.
$500 – $1500
This price range can get you a decent economy table for home use. If you can’t afford pricey tables, then a you can buy a pretty solid wooden (MDF) one within this price range. A wooden table would also be light and easy to move, convenient for home use.
With proper care, they can last you 7-10 years. Do not expect something of very high quality within this range though.
$1500 – $3000
A standard, mid-range table that can guarantee at least a decade of low-maintenance, serious play will lie somewhere in this range. These will be high-quality, slate top tables and come in a large range of designs to match your home interior.
This is ideal for any average pool player, providing the best value for price. We’d recommend getting a table in this range if you can afford it.
$3500 – $20,000
The most high-end tables can cost anything above $3500, even up to $20,000! This category includes competition pool tables, custom-made fancy pool tables, and the most antique heirlooms that can literally last a lifetime, if not more. World-class professional pool players and pool fanatics with a high taste are willing to spend a fortune on these.
So now that you have a good idea of how pool tables are priced, you can make your choice. Keep in mind though, that going for a cheaper option will be at the expense of quality and life. In the long-run, a high-quality table will actually end up saving you money.
Why are pool tables so expensive?
Not all pool tables are expensive, but the highest quality pool tables have tops made of natural slate, which is much more durable than synthetic alternatives, and solid wood for the cabinet, which is again very expensive compared to MDF type qualities. Some can last a lifetime or more, so the price on them is justified.
How much does it cost to move a pool table?
Moving a pool table can cost you a few hundred dollars, in the range of $100-600, if you are getting professional help. The heaviest, slate-bed tables are the hardest to move and will cost you at least $500.
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