Sometimes you just don’t have space in your house to fit a pool table. Or maybe you have a decent-sized room, but some shots are a little cramped. Maybe you already have an indoor table but want to enjoy the beautiful weather while shooting some pool. Whatever the reason, you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to purchasing an outdoor pool table.
To be sure, there are some questions that need answering before you decide on an outdoor table. After all, it’s hard to imagine a pool table that can both hold up to the weather and allow for a good, smooth game of pool. In this article, we’ll discuss what the various outdoor pool tables are made of, including the cloth, table (slate or non-slate), body construction, and the accessories they come with. We’ll also discuss other things to consider before making a purchase, how the different materials hold up to weather, and any special gear that you may need for the best outdoor pool playing experience.
What Outdoor Pool Tables Are Made Of?
From frame construction and materials to bumpers, cloth, bed, and accessories, it’s good to know the different options you have when it comes to buying an outdoor pool table.
Frame and Leg Materials
The frame and legs of most outdoor pool tables are made of treated, rust-resistant aluminum or stainless steel. The major differences across the outdoor table range come in the form of style. Which means you can pick the style you want without worrying about the quality of materials. Aluminum holds up well in the elements. The biggest issues with pool tables— both indoor and outdoor— comes down to the bed and cloth materials.
Outdoor Pool Table Bed Materials
If you’re not familiar, what is referred to as the bed is the actual playing surface underneath the cloth. The bed is probably the most important element of the pool table, particularly when it comes to outdoor tables. If a bed warps or damages, then the gameplay will be greatly affected.
Heavier, high-end outdoor pool tables are made with slate beds. Slate rock is a good choice for the playing surface but is very heavy and more expensive than tables with beds made of other materials. Pearl board, which is made from Formica and polyester resin, is another less expensive choice for your outdoor pool table bed. Manufactured and treated composite wood is also another common choice. All of these options are treated to be weather resistant, while the pearl board and manufactured wood options generally make the tables easier to move if the need arises, due to their lighter weight.
Weather Resistant Cloth Materials
Perhaps the second-most important aspect of gameplay is the materials used for the pool tablecloth. Most of the professional grade indoor tables are made with a mixture of wool and nylon or sometimes wool and polyester. On outdoor tables, however, you need a cloth that is a little tougher and water-resistant. One common cloth fabric is called Sunbrella cloth, which is made out of acrylic. Other types of cloth found on outdoor pool tables are Taclon and polytech. All of these fabrics are engineered to be water and UV resistant, as well as provide a smooth playing surface.
Since the bumpers on standard tables are generally made out of rubber, you’ll find that most outdoor pool tables come standard with K66 or K55 bumpers. Natural rubber holds up well to the elements as is, but when it’s covered with weatherproof cloth, like on outdoor tables, you won’t have to worry about the bumpers wearing down.
Outdoor Pool Table Accessories
All new outdoor pool tables should come with the essential accessories you need to play. These include two cue sticks, one set of balls, one triangle rack, and chalk. It’s also a good idea to look for a table that comes standard with a weatherproof cover that will help to ensure a long life for your table. Keep in mind that some outdoor sets include aluminum cues instead of the wooden cues that many players are used to. If you want a set with wooden cues, it’s probably best to bring the cues inside with you when you’re not playing.
How Outdoor Pool Tables Hold Up to the Weather
Outdoor pool tables are built to last. The metal they’re made with is rust-resistant and treated to keep their color for years. Plus, the fabric used on most outdoor pool tables holds its color despite spending a lot of time in harsh sunlight. Everything is made to be water resistant, especially the playing surface underneath the cloth.
Rain, sun, snow, or wind, it’s no problem for an outdoor pool table. Most tables have specially designed pockets that allow water to drain out when the table gets wet. This keeps any standing water from building up on the table. Now, with all that being said, it’s a good idea to do a few easy things to keep your table pristine for many years to come.
Use the Cover
If your outdoor table comes with a cover you can put over it when it’s not in use, make sure you use it. If it doesn’t come with a cover, it’s a good idea to invest in one. Not only will this keep the elements out of the cloth, but it will also help to keep the table clean and ready to use.
Don’t Abuse Your Table
Using your outdoor tabletop for storage of any kind is not a great idea. They’re tough tables, but they last longer with a little bit of care, like almost anything else. As long as you use your table for what it was made for and cover it when not in use, you should get a nice, long life out of your outdoor pool table.
Keep it Clean
A clean table will play better than a dirty table, obviously. But it’s also a good idea to keep it clean in order to enhance its life. Some outdoor tables come standard with a cloth brush, but if yours doesn’t it’s definitely worth a purchase.
If You Have a Balcony, Use It
Outdoor pool tables will be fine out under the direct sunlight and weather, but if you have room under an awning or a balcony, you can extend your table’s life by keeping it there. The combination of using a cover and keeping your table under an awning will almost guarantee that you’ll enjoy the table for many, many years.
Remember, these are all just tips to help you keep your table in like-new condition for many years. If you leave an outdoor pool table out in the elements and don’t use the cover, you should still get years’ worth of entertainment from it without seeing a big decline in playability or overall appearance.
What to Consider Before Purchasing an Outdoor Pool Table
Now you have an idea of what outdoor pool tables are made of, how they hold up in the elements, and a few tips about pool table care. Let’s take a look at a few things you’ll want to consider before buying an outdoor table.
Where to Put the Table
Figuring out where to put the table may seem like a no-brainer, but there are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing. The most common table size is 8’ but you can also get 7’ tables, as well. But, since you’re going to have plenty of room outside, it’s better to get the bigger table for more of a challenging game.
Outdoor pool tables also vary in weight. On the lighter end, they weigh around 200 to 300 pounds and as much as 800 to 1,000 lbs on the heavy side. If you think you’ll want to move the table around, you may want to purchase a table on the lighter side of the spectrum.
It’s also a good idea to make sure you have a hard, flat surface to put the table on. Even if the surface isn’t completely flat, you’ll have the ability to adjust the legs in order to level the table. If you are planning on putting your outdoor pool table on grass or dirt you should consider getting pieces or flat wood or brick to put under each leg. This will help to keep the table level on ground that shifts rain or snowmelt.
What Special Equipment is Required?
Any outdoor pool table worth the money will come with all the equipment you need to play. However, if you’re looking to buy extra equipment, it’s good to know what you need.
Some people prefer to upgrade their billiard balls to the industry standard Amarith brand if their table doesn’t already come with them. This is fine because you don’t need specially made balls on an outdoor table. Quality billiard balls are made with such hard material that they’re already weather resistant and easy to clean, especially phenolic balls such as the Amarith line.
Some outdoor tables come with wooden cues while others come with stainless steel or aluminum cues. Metal cues are okay to be left outside with the table, but wooden cues should be brought indoors when not in use to prevent warpage. Likewise, most outdoor tables come with hardened plastic triangle rack, but wooden ones are available. Again, it’s best to bring wooden accessories inside when not in use.
Which Table is Best?
There are a variety of outdoor pool tables available in a wide range of prices. Now that you know what tables are made of and how they hold up, it’s time to pick a table! We’ve done some research and picked the best table for all-around style, price, equipment, and materials.
The Playcraft Extera Outdoor Pool Table is a great mid-range table for any backyard. It comes with all the equipment you’ll need, it’s easy to set up and not too heavy in case you need to move it. It’s an 8-foot table, which is the most common size. Since the table will be in the great outdoors, you don’t have to worry about banging into walls with your cues. You can enjoy the sunshine and a nice breeze while shooting some pool in the comfort of your own backyard!
Some of its features include:
- All Aluminum Construction
- Easy Assembly
- Large Tubular Beam Legs and Bracing
- Electric Blue Weatherproof UV Resistant Polytech cloth
- Playing Equipment Included
If you’re interested in checking out this table for yourself, click on the link or pic above to check it out on Amazon. You’d be surprised at just how affordable a quality outdoor table like this one is!
If you have any other questions about outdoor pool tables feel free to comment below. Also be sure to check out our other helpful articles for all of your billiard related questions.