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Buying a Pool Table With a Slate Top or an MDF Top

Updated on February 12, 2010

Things to Consider When Buying a Pool Table

Many consumers want to buy a pool table for their home recreation or for practicing their billiard skills for competition and pool tournaments. When deciding to buy a pool table there are many factors to considers. The size of the pool table, the type of top, pre-assembled, DIY kits, Felt colors and more. For most home users a quality pool table with an MDF top is sufficient and there are pool tables that are slightly smaller than regulation pool tables that are used in competition. These smaller tables make them easier to accommodate in a home recreation use. Higher quality tables with slate tops are the preferred option for pool players who play in tournaments or at a professional level. Kits are relatively easy to assemble for most do it yourselfers with the proper tools while pre-assembled are often a better option for those who are a bit less handy with tools.

Slate Top Pool Tables vs. MDF Top Pool Tables

If you are looking to buy a pool table, knowing the differences and the benefits of these two options will help in making the right choice of pool table for your needs. The benefits of a slate top pool table is that slate is an extremely durable and smooth surface. This allows the balls to roll smoothly and will give an accurate idea of play on tournament and regulation pool tables. Slate tops will not warp or sag and will also withstand moisture and spills. The disadvantages of a slate top pool table is really just limited to one, the weight. Slate is extremely heavy and if you buy a slate top pool table you will want to be sure it is placed on a solid and level surface.


MDF top pool tables are sufficient for most home users. MDF tops are lighter than slate and cheaper to repair if damaged. When you decide to buy a pool table with an MDF top it is important to consider the disadvantages. MDF tops can warp or sag, MDF will swell and bulge if it is exposed to moisture or placed in a high humidity area. Being lighterweight allows a pool table with an MDF to be moved easier and is a good idea for pool tables that will be placed in an upper level of the home.

Once You Buy a Pool Table Get a Dog to Teach You How to Play

Maybe Your Child Can be the Next Billiard Prodigy

Buy a Pool Table That Meets Your Needs

If you have decided to buy a pool table then it is most important to buy one that fits your specific needs. If you are frequently in tournaments and competitions it will be wise to buy a pool table that closely meets standard billiard regulations. This will allow you to practice and the playing experience will be very close to that of the experience in tournaments. If you want to buy a pool table simply for recreational purposes then it will be wise to consider factors such as the space where you will set up the table, the weight, ease of assembly and ease of moving the table. No matter what choice you make when you buy a pool table, a quality table will give years of great fun for the whole family.

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    • tom.staton profile image

      tom.staton 

      8 years ago from Oxford

      I would say if you are not looking at spending a lot of money on a table and it is going to be for the family home then go for an MDF table.

    • profile image

      Mike 

      8 years ago

      I have to say I prfer the MDF but simply because of the cost of repairs. I have a rather enthusiastic 4 years who likes a "game" now and then!

    • profile image

      Tom Taylor 

      8 years ago

      Great hub. It all depends on the type of pool table you want and how you want it to look the your surroundings. My company sells pool tables online at greatpooltables.com and we get a ton of questions on what to look for when buying. We often offer free shipping and will match or beat almost any price online so if you in the market you should definitely stop by the site.

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