Correctly measuring a pool table can be tricky if you don’t know what to do. And measurements are important when it comes to having the table moved, re-felted, or replaced. You may even want to know the size of the table for curiosity’s sake. No matter the reason, this article will give you simple ways to measure a pool table.
Most Common Pool Table Sizes
Before we get into how exactly to measure a pool table, it’s important to be familiar with the most common pool table sizes out there. Chances are your pool table is one of the standard sizes. They are 7-foot, 8-foot, 8.5-foot, and 9-foot.
7-foot tables are most common in bars and as coin-operated tables. 8-foot tables are common in homes, whereas 8.5-foot tables are less common but occasionally found in homes. 9-foot tables are used in tournaments and can be found in billiard halls.
How Do You Measure a Pool Table?
Once you know the standard sizes, you may think it would be easy to break out the tape measure and measure from one side to the other. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. This is because pool table measurements aren’t based on the entire table, they’re based on the size of the slate (playing surface).
The reason for this lies with different manufacturing processes and rail sizes. The rails of one table are usually a different size than the rails of another pool table. Luckily, the playing surfaces are standardized throughout the industry.
So, to measure your pool table accurately, you need to measure between the bumpers on the playing surface. And you only need to measure the width of the table, not the length. The length of a pool table’s playing surface will always be double the width. But don’t expect to get an exact 7, 8, or 9-foot reading. Instead, use the measurements below to determine which size your table is. They are as follows:
- 7-foot tables measure 39” x 79” or 40” by 80”
- 8-foot tables measure 44” x 88”
- 8.5-foot tables measure 46” x 92”
- 9-foot tables measure 50” x 100”
As you can see by the measurements above, the distance between the bumpers won’t match the exact length in feet. Still, tables are known by the overall size of the playing surface.
So, if your table measures 39” or 40” on the short side, you can be confident that it’s a 7-foot table. If it measures 44”, you can be sure it’s an 8-foot table, and so on.
Remember to measure between the points of the bumpers (sometimes call cushions). Don’t measure into pockets or underneath the bumpers, as this will give you an inaccurate reading. And you don’t have to measure the length if you don’t want to; just double the width to get the length.
How to Determine a Pool Table’s Height
Now that you know how to measure a pool table’s playing surface, you may want to know how to measure a table’s height. Like pool table sizes, billiard and pool organizations have guidelines for how tall a table should be.
Pool tables should be between 29 ¼-inches and 31-inches in height, according to the World Pool-Billiard Association.
This measurement is done from the floor to the top of the playing surface. It is not done to the top of the rails or the cushions. So, if you want to determine how tall your table is, you have two main options: eyeball it or do some basic math.
The eyeball method simply means you take a tape measure, place the end on the floor, and measure to the outside of the table approximately where the playing surface sits. You should be able to get a reasonably accurate reading, usually within a ½-inch or so.
The other method is to take two different measurements. First, measure from the top of the playing surface to the top of the railing. Then, measure from the floor to the top of the railing. Subtract the first number from the second, and you have the height of your pool table!
Knowing the size of a pool table is important for several reasons. You need it to make sure you have enough room to play comfortably. You also need the size if you’re having the table re-felted, the cushions replaced, or you want to purchase a pool table cover. It’s also good to know the size of a table if you want to make money playing pool. Since tournaments are played on 9-foot tables, it’s best to practice on that size, if at all possible.
Knowing the height of a pool table is also important if you want to ensure your table is the same height that the pros play on. Both size and height are measured using the playing surface. It’s a simple matter to determine how wide your table is by measuring between the bumpers on a short side. Determining the height is also a simple matter, no matter which method you use.