Pool table felt is an integral part of the game. It covers the playing surface and, when properly cared for, allows for the smooth and consistent movement of the balls. But if you’re in the market for some new felt, you may be overwhelmed by the huge selection of felt colors available. Not to worry, because in this article I’ll compare pool table felt colors so you can make the best choice for your table.
Why Is Pool Table Felt Color Important?
Believe it or not, the color of the pool table felt can impact your game. But the right color can go a long way to make your pool table and the surrounding room look pleasing. The wrong color can clash with the color of your pool table chalk and can make any dirt on the table apparent.
It’s kind of like having white shoes. If you can keep them clean, great. But when they start to get scuffed and dirty, they start to look bad. For this reason, I’ll tell you right now to avoid white pool table cloth!
In all honesty, you won’t see white as a normally offered color for pool table felt. And not only because it gets dirty easily. White, and colors like it, can be hard on the eyes, which is the biggest reason why pool table felt color is important.
Easy On the Eyes
You’ve probably noticed that many pool tables have either blue or green felt. The green felt isn’t just a carryover from centuries past when billiard games were actually played on grass. Turns out that green is fairly easy on the eyes. And so is blue. Between these two colors, you won’t have to worry about straining your eyes.
Bright Felt Colors
Bright colors, on the other hand, have the potential to give some players headaches. This is doubly so if you have bright lights directly over your table. Instead of just illuminating the game, you’re reflecting light off the brightly colored felt and into your eyes.
Dark Felt Colors
Dark colors aren’t always the best either. They have the opposite effect as bright felt colors. With black, dark blue, or deep burgundy, you run the risk of not being able to see dark balls so easily. And there are some pretty important balls that just happen to be dark.
Plus, the cushions tend to create shadows on the table along the edges and near the pockets. These shadows can blend right into the dark cloth of the table, making it hard to see the borders of the pockets on occasion.
What Are The Most Popular Pool Table Felt Colors?
We covered this briefly above, but the most popular pool table felts are green and blue because they’re both easy on the eyes. However, the blue color you see on pool tables at televised tournaments is called Tournament Blue and it came into favor because it’s ideal for use on television. It translates better over the airwaves, allowing those at home to easily see the balls as they move on the table.
In fact, this shade of blue isn’t just ideal for television. Some studies show that it may be easier on the eyes than traditional green. This may be one reason why tennis courts have started using blue in recent years, instead of green.
What Is The Best Color for Pool Table Felt?
The best color for pool table felt is subjective. What’s best for you may not be best for another player. The color felt you choose will largely be determined by what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Serious Player – If you plan on playing multiple games back to back, practicing a lot, or generally spending a lot of time with your pool table, go with either blue or green. Your eyes will thank you.
- Casual Player – If you’re more of a casual player who may shoot a game or two per week, you don’t have to be so concerned with the effect the felt color will have on your eyes. Still, I’d stay away from dark and bright colors, but everything else is fair game.
- Decorative Tables – If your pool table is more of an ornament that guests can use when you have a party, you shouldn’t feel so confined by any guidelines I’ve mentioned so far. You’ll probably want to look at the overall design of the room and decide which color would work best and mesh with your particular taste.
- Don’t Care, Just Want Some New Felt – Maybe you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to have to think about color schemes or matching shades. If so, I salute you. Go with a traditional Simonis Green pool table cloth. You can’t go wrong.
For those of you who want a little more help selecting the best color for your game room, rec room, or man cave, read on. Next, I’ll cover some of the best pool table color combinations and some suggestions to save you a bunch of time and money.
Pool Table Color Combinations
Now that we’ve covered the colors to avoid and given you some general guidelines, let’s take a look at some popular pool table color combinations. But before we dive in, ask yourself, “What kind of atmosphere do I want?”
Certain colors tend to evoke certain emotions, so you’ll want to be aware of them before you start choosing colors for your table and the surrounding room.
- Bright colors, like yellow, red, and orange, are energetic, vivacious colors.
- Darker blues and greens tend to evoke more of a calm atmosphere.
- Muted grays, maroons, and tans can create a classy yet somber atmosphere.
Of course, people won’t be bouncing off the walls just because you have a bright room and pool table, but these are factors you may want to consider. What are you trying to go for? What style do you want from your pool table and rec room?
Popular Color Combinations
Here are some popular pool table color combinations to give you some ideas.
The Classic Pool Hall Look
If you like the look of pool halls from the mid 19th century on, you’ll want to stick with the classic green felt for the table. If you can get your hands on a green glass bar light to hang over the table on brass chains, all the better.
This look is best done with a clawfoot table of finished oak or maple, but you can pull it off with many different types of pool tables. The combination of dark greens, browns, and reds the color of bricks can really pull off this classic look.
The Rustic Look
Maybe you want a more rustic look, making the room a combination log cabin and pool hall. The best felt colors for this are usually maroon to go with darker wood or tan to go with lighter wood. You could even go with a golden or camel-colored felt.
The Modern Look
For a more modern, sleek look, consider a steel gray, academy blue, or charcoal. These colors pair well with silver, black, and white surroundings. Modern pool tables, with lots of straight lines and hard angles, are best for this type of look.
These are just the basics to give you an idea of what works well together. Some experimentation may be due before you figure out what exactly you want to go with.
Pool Table Felt Don’ts
Before I leave you, I wanted to share some things to avoid when considering pool table felt.
Avoid Custom-Printed Pool Table Felt
You may be tempted to have a design or a sports team logo custom-printed on your pool table felt. While it’s entirely possible to do this, it doesn’t usually turn out well. For one, you’re looking at spending at least $500 to $700 before installation. Secondly, pool table felt must be stretched to be properly installed. So, many people have ended up with a slightly distorted image on their pool table.
Of course, it is possible to find a pre-made printed pool table felt. The best ones include images that are dyed in to the fabric, making a smooth and playable surface. But, you’re still going to have to pay a pretty penny for them and hire a professional installer so as not to distort the image during installation.
Instead of an image on the felt, you can easily purchase a pool table cover with an image on it. And you should definitely have a pool table cover if you don’t already. You can also do a multicolored pool table, using the colors of your sports team. One color on the playing surface, and another color on the rails. This is also much cheaper than purchasing custom felt.
Lighting Is Everything
The last “don’t” I want to tell you about is more of a “keep in mind”. If you visit a pool table showroom, take note of the lighting. The same goes for looking at paint samples in a store. The lighting may be very different from what you have in your home. It’s best to take samples home and make sure you’re making the right choice before making any final decisions.
Related Article: 18 Unique Pool Table Lights for Your Billiard Room
I hope this article has helped you decide what color pool table felt you want. There are a lot of different colors out there, and not all of them are ideal for playing pool. The favorite go-to’s are classic green and tournament blue because they’re easy on the eyes and the most identifiable. However, you can do a lot with tans, maroons, grays, and other soft or muted colors.