Hopefully you are just asking and don’t really have to get up and stand on a pool table. The question is understandable though. Pool tables are big, heavy, and solid looking platforms that seem structurally sound for the weight of a human. However, looks can be deceiving. So, is it ok to stand on a pool table?
The short answer is no. Standing on a pool table can cause serious damage and result in costly repairs. You should never stand on a pool table unless absolutely necessary and you should only do so with proper precaution and preparation.
While its true that most pool tables can physically hold the weight of a person, as in the legs won’t break and the table just collapse, the problem lies in the slate support. Cheaper to mid grade tables don’t have as much material supporting the slate bed which can lead to big problems if you stand on them.
What Would I Be Standing On Anyway?
There are two main types of pool tables, slate bed and medium density fiberboard (MDF), aka wood bed pool tables. MDF is your run of the mill, cheaper, usually smaller type table. Standing on this would be comparable to standing on a plastic folding table. Obviously, not something you want to stand on and would most likely ruin it.
The most common type of pool table we are all familiar with is the slate bed style. Slate has been the bed for pool tables since around 1835 and comes in multiple different sizes and prices to match. The standard sized British tables use a single piece of slate, usually ¾’’ thick for the bed. American tables and bigger tables usually have three pieces of slate and range in thickness usually never less than 19 millimeters.
The main reason we should not stand on pool tables is because of the slate and the potential lack of support/backing frame. Although slate is heavy and solid, it’s still pretty brittle.
A little information about slate for you. Slate is fine grained metamorphic rock created by the alteration of shale or mudstone by low grade metamorphism. It is made when shale and mudstone in a sedimentary basin are compressed by horizontal forces with some minor heat.
The clay minerals in the shale and mudstone are modified, and foliation develops at right angles to the compressive forces of the convergent plate boundary to start a vertical foliation that usually crosses the bedding planes existing in the shale.
The slate is then planed and milled down nice and perfect for pool table beds! The universe goes through a lot so we can play this game!
Why Not To Stand On Pool Tables
Most tables just don’t have enough support underneath the slate or MDF bed to support being stood on. Therefore, since slate is not intended for weight like that, it could crack, or worse, you could fall through on a lower end table that doesn’t have much support.
It would be similar to walking on a tile floor with each tile only supported on the edges. That is essentially what most pool tables are unless it is a higher end table. Slate is originally fine clay in the form of shale and mudstone, not wood or steel, so it should always be handled with care.
Other than potential damage to the slate, the cloth is another worry. Standing or sitting on the pool table could very well damage the felt. Replacing felt is not always easy nor is it cheap.
Also, stepping on the rail and/or cushion could lead to damage or unwanted change in play.
The Pros Stand On The Tables?
Yes, we have seen the pros jump up onto the table to celebrate a victory, but like we talked about earlier, the more expensive the table, the more supported the slate bed. Those are pretty expensive tournament tables used in those competitions. Not only is there a more uniform or full wood backing frame of at least ¾’’ for the slate, the slate itself is at least an inch thick which is required by The Billiard Congress of America for professional 9’ tables.
Also, much like a pro football player not wearing the same cleats for each game, they are going to either replace the table or replace the cloth and everything before the next competition on that table anyway. Still shouldn’t stand on a pool table though.
If You Have To Get On One
Of course, if you have a table at home and need to fix the light, paint or something, it is more reasonable to stand on the table than it is to move that beast. In this case, cover the bed and the rails with a nice thick blanket. Cut a ¾’ sheet of plywood and lay flat on the bed. The plywood doesn’t have to take up the whole bed. This will help disperse the weight when you get on.
Use a ladder to get on the table, do not jump up from the ground. Once up and on, make easy and steady movements. Carefully slide your feet around the plywood to keep from putting too much weight on either leg. Get done with what you need to do and get down. It is always recommended to have someone else there with you.
Please only stand on the table if it is an absolute must. I must say that even with the above precautions, I don’t advise you standing on your pool table. However, I understand that sometimes, we just don’t have any other choice.
What About Sitting?
Sitting on a pool table is not much different from standing on the table. Weight on slate is weight on slate, same outcomes can happen. Plus, rivets, buttons, jewels and other things on your clothes can scratch the gloss and paint on the rails and potentially tear the cloth on the bed. If you are playing at someone else’s house or at a pool hall, the owner may not like that very much.
Also, most people have leaned on or have sat on the rail of a pool table once or twice. It’s not going to be an issue right away unless you scratch the rail. However, over time this can unlevel the table, so it is best to just avoid that as well.
What If The Slate Is Damaged?
If your slate is cracked or chipped, you can repair it with some billiard table wax or beeswax. Just heat up the wax, apply it to the whole crack or area on the slate, wait for it to dry, then scrape off the excess wax with a paint scraper so it is nice and smooth.
If your slate is straight broken, there is some slate repair glue you can use. Once it is dry, scrape and sand until the slate is smooth. The best choice would be to just call a professional though, many places that sell pool tables have people to repair them.
Seeking professional help in the event your slate is cracked is your best bet. Some minor cracks may be able to be repaired DIY style but theres no telling how long it will last. Definitely consult a professional pool table repair man/woman if your table is in need of repair.
It is never a good idea to stand on a pool table. It’s really not a good idea to do anything on a pool table besides play pool! So suppress that wild hair you may have to jump up with your partner and dance on a pool table and find something else to sit on besides the rails! Pool tables are for pool!
If you must get on your table at home though, never stand on a non slate table, just move it. Be careful and take precautions on a slate table, breaking or cracking the slate will lead to a bad day.