So you’ve decided to put a pool table in your garage. You won’t regret it! But, it does take a little bit of doing to get the table ready for play. Most garages have a slope to the floor to keep water from pooling in the garage or making its way to the ground around the foundation.
While this is barely noticeable for most activities, it can impact how the balls move on the pool table. Fortunately, fixing this issue is pretty easy. So read on to find out how to level a pool table in the garage with this step by step guide.
I’ll give you two different methods for leveling a pool table in the garage. This way you can decide which one is best for you. Either one can be done with just a few tools and supplies.
Position of Your Pool Table
First off I want to mention one tip that many people overlook when installing a pool table in the garage. The instinct is to put the table lengthwise like you would park a car. However, the slope from one end of the table to the other is more pronounced this way. You can reduce the severity of the slope by placing the pool table widthwise if you have the room to do so. This will make leveling the table easier, especially if you plan on using shims.
Either way, the general idea will be the same, no matter which way you’ve positioned your pool table. So, let’s get to it!
Tools To Level The Pool Table
You’ll need a few basic tools to get this done. Read through the entire article before gathering the tools, as the leveling can be done with different tools, depending on what you have around the house.
- Carpenter’s Level – Preferably one 2 feet long or under.
- Machinist’s Level – (Optional) – You can get the table level without one of these expensive levels.
Note: You can use a more accurate machinist’s level to make sure the table surface is as level as can possibly be. But, if you don’t have a machinist’s level already, it’s probably not with the price to get one for simply leveling a pool table. In fact, it would likely be cheaper to hire a professional to level the table.
Leveling a Pool Table in The Garage: The Traditional Method
The traditional method is more labor-intensive, so you may need a friend to help you lift the pool table several times. It can be done alone but it’s not quite as easy.
Step 1 – Start in the Middle
To find out which side or leg you’ll need to raise to make the table level, it’s best to start in the middle.
- Place the carpenter level lengthwise in the middle of the table, equidistant between the two middle pockets. Note the bubble in the middle of the level. If it’s between the two center lines, the table is level or near-level. If the bubble is over one of the lines, that side of the table is higher than the other.
- Next, place the level widthwise and note which side of the table seems higher, if the bubble is off-level.
Since you can do nothing to lower the high side of a table, you will need to concentrate on raising the low side. In a garage, be prepared to raise two of the legs off the ground to match the high side. If the garage is uneven, you may even have to raise three legs.
Step 2 – Confirm Your Findings
Since you can be reasonably confident that the side closest to the driveway is the low side, you just need to confirm it.
- Place the level nearer the suspected low side in the middle of the table. Lengthwise will give you the reading for that side as a whole. Widthwise will tell you if the two low-side legs are uneven themselves. Note your findings.
Step 3 – Check Legs and Hardware
- Some pool tables come with adjustable levers in the legs. If you have an owner’s manual, check that. If not, it should be easy to tell just by looking at the legs of the table.
- Before you begin making adjustments, it’s a good idea to check for any loose screws or other hardware. If you’ve just moved the table, it’s likely that something has come loose, which can affect the playing surface. After you tighten any loose hardware, check again with the level to see if anything has changed.
Step 4 – Shim or Adjust the Legs
- If you have adjustable levers in the legs you can twist them out on the low side until your table is level.
- If you’re using shims, you’ll have to lift the table up slightly, one leg at a time, to slip the shims underneath. Some people are able to do this themselves, while others will need to use a car jack or another person to help them. If you use a car jack, place a block of wood between the table and the jack to protect the table.
- Depending on how severe the slope is, you’ll want to add only one or two shims at a time before checking with the level again. Do this until the table is level.
Note: Non-slip rubber shims are best for use on concrete. If you have carpet or padding on which to set the table, you can use wood shims or playing cars, if you prefer.
Leveling a Pool Table in the Garage: Preferred Method
I recommend this method because it requires less lifting of the table and tends to be more accurate than using shims.
If you don’t have adjustable levers in the legs, this method requires a set of these FlatJax Pool Table Levelers.
Step 1 – Follow Steps 1 Through 3 Above.
Step 2 – Install and Adjust FlatJax Levelers
You’ll still need to lift up the legs once to put the levelers underneath them, but after that you can make adjustments without lifting the table.
- Follow the directions included with the FlatJax Levelers to install them under the feet.
- Once installed, make adjustments as needed, while checking the table with the carpenter’s level.
- Remember that the FlatJax Levelers are designed for precision, so you won’t be able to see the table rising with one single turn of the lever. Make sure to reference the level because the adjustments will show up on the level and when you play on the table
Either of the two methods shown above will work for leveling your pool table in the garage. The main reason I prefer the Flatjax levelers is because they’re more precise and once you get them where they need to be, you wont have to do much adjusting moving forward.
I hope this article has been helpful and that you now have all the info you need to get your table level and ready for a few games of pool with your friends and family!