If you’re looking to purchase or move a pool table— or even trying to settle a bet— you may be wondering how much a pool table weighs. There’s a variety of sizes and styles and they all vary in weight. The major factor is what materials the table is made of. Cheaper and smaller tables are typically lighter than their high-end, regulation-size counterparts.
Depending on the size of the table and the materials used in its construction, pool tables weigh between 100 and 1500 pounds. Between the two most common types of pool tables, slate and MDF, slate tables are heavier. When comparing an 8 foot pool table, one with a slate bed weighs around 850 pounds while one made with MDF weighs around 250 pounds.
This article is will break it down to give you a better understanding of the different choices out there. It will also discuss the best options for moving a table and which are likely to survive a move without damage affecting play.
Pool Table Materials
To get an idea of what makes pool tables vary so largely in weight, you need to understand what they are made of. Ask any professional— or even amateur— pool player which style table is best, they’ll all say that they prefer slate bed tables over non-slate.
Slate vs Wood
If you’re not familiar, slate is a type of rock that, given its properties, makes a great, durable playing surface under the pool table felt. Obviously bigger tables have bigger slate beds, but the thickness of the slate will also impact weight. Most standard tables have 1-inch slate, but it’s not uncommon to see tables with ½”, ¾” or ⅞” slate beds. Slate tables generally come with one large piece or 3 separate pieces of slate for easier transport. For the most part tables with one-piece slate beds will be ¾” thick whereas the 3-piece tables will have 1” slate.
Under the felt on non-slate tables, you’ll typically find a hardboard made from different wood fibers pressed together with a resin, known as medium-density fibreboard (MDF). As you can imagine, slate-bed tables weigh significantly more than wood-bed tables. Since many people don’t want the hassle of moving a 1,000-pound slate table, they’ll purchase an MDF table for a few hundred dollars and call it a day. But those that are serious about their pool will generally go for heavier tables despite the difficulty moving them.
Remember that those aren’t the only materials to consider when factoring a pool table’s weight. The structure all around the bed contributes to table weight and moving ease.
For slate tables, the surrounding construction needs to be made out of relatively strong, supportive materials to fully handle the weight of the rock. As a result, hardwoods such as oak are often used in constructing the legs and frame of the table. So, for example, an average in-home 4’ x 8’ birch pool table with 5-inch hardwood rails, rubber bumper cushions, drop pockets, and a 3-piece, 1” slate bed will weigh about 700 pounds. 8-foot tables usually weigh somewhere between 700 and 1,000 pounds, with the newly constructed tables being lighter on average.
For MDF tables, the weight will vary more from the surrounding materials than the weight of the wood bed. These tables are often much cheaper and much lighter than slate tables. Since there isn’t as much weight for the frame to support, they are generally made with lighter materials like plywood, aluminum or even types of hardened plastic. These types of tables can weigh anywhere from 100 to 300 pounds on average.
How to Move a Pool Table
It can be an incredibly difficult and frustrating task to move a pool table without professional help. Particularly for those with a single-slate table. Many people take their entire single-slate table apart to move it, which can be a tedious process. But even then, moving a large flat stone weighing around 450 pounds is hard, and can be dangerous.
This is why many people buy MDF tables that can be moved with relative ease. The problem, for pool enthusiasts, is that over time the MDF bed tends to warp in subtle ways that affect gameplay, they’re more easily damaged, and they don’t last as long as slate tables. Even MDF tables, however, can be tricky to re-assemble if they have a ball return or are coin-operated.
Tables with 3-pieces of slate are significantly easier to move from point A to point B but putting the table back together and leveling the separate pieces can be tricky unless you know what you’re doing. On 3-piece tables, the slabs are typically joined together with beeswax or something similar to smooth over the creases. Re-felting the table is also a bit of a job that requires some know-how. This is where a professional pool table mover comes in handy.
Get Professional Help
You may not be aware that there are people who specialize in moving pool tables, but there are. Some even call themselves pool table mechanics. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of moving your 700-pound slate table, you can do a quick internet search and chances are you’ll find a professional mover in your city. But, since moving a pool table is a hassle, you’ll probably be charged somewhere between $200 and $600 dollars.
This wide range depends upon table size, style (1 or 3-piece slate), the distance between locations, and if any stairs are involved. Some movers charge extra for each stair they have to traverse, whereas others give you a flat rate.
If you are looking to hire a table mechanic, it’s worth a few phone inquiries to get the best deal possible.
Knowledge is Power
Purchasing a pool table can be a bit overwhelming. There are a lot of options to choose from. But, like anything else, you’ll find power in knowledge. Knowing the different types of tables and how much they weigh is one of the first steps toward purchasing a table that will fit your particular needs and space. It will also help you if you’re looking to purchase a used one from a friend or a stranger.
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