Getting a game room, rec room, or man cave together is fun, but it does take a little planning. And the pool table is likely the biggest item you’ll have to put in the room. Since pool tables are large, heavy, and hard to move, it pays to plan ahead. Making sure your floor is prepared for a table will keep you from having to move the table. And when planning for a pool table, one question comes up often: Should you put a rug under a pool table?
Putting a rug under a pool table is a great option. It helps protect hard flooring, adds some aesthetics, helps dampen sound, and can tie the room together. For best results, you’ll need a big rug, the correct thickness (low or medium-pile), and a little patience when leveling.
Read on to discover all about putting a rug under a pool table. I’ll go over the benefits, drawbacks of placing a rug under a pool table. I’ll also give you some tips, size options, and pile recommendations.
Benefits of a Rug Under a Pool Table
The benefits of putting a rug under a pool table are a combination of preference and objective advantage. For most people, the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. But you can decide for yourself.
Protects the Floor
Since pool tables are so heavy, they have the potential to damage hardwood floors. For this reason alone many people put rugs under their pool tables. Even a thin rug will keep the floor from getting scratched up.
A big enough rug will also help protect the floor from an errant ball. Billiard balls are heavy and tough; they’ve been known to crack a tile floor or dent a wood one.
If you need to move the table a few inches or feet, doing so is easier with a rug. Without a rug, you’re liable to gouge or scratch the floor.
Rugs also help to dampen sound. While pool isn’t inherently a loud sport, the crashing of the balls can reverberate. Adding a rug can help absorb some of that sound so your roommates or family members don’t go crazy when you play pool for hours at a time!
Easy on the Feet
A large rug around your pool table provides some padding for your feet. If you’re on your feet all day at work, or simply don’t like standing on hard floors for hours at a time, a rug under the table is the way to go. And it doesn’t have to be a particularly thick rug. Even a little bit of padding helps.
Keeps Pool Table from Moving
Believe it or not, pool tables on hard floors have a tendency to move a little bit over time. A table won’t run away on you, but it will skew slightly and you’ll have to fix it eventually. People lean on the table to make shots or bump the table while walking by, causing it to move. Placing the table on a rug will prevent this from happening.
Provides Warmth and Aesthetic Appeal
Here’s where preference comes in. Not everyone will agree that a rug is aesthetically pleasing or adds any “warmth” to the room. Others will insist that it does. You’ll have to decide for yourself if a rug in the room will work for you. People who have a pool table in their garage tend to like using rugs under the table.
Maybe the other benefits are enough, even if you don’t necessarily want the rug there. Still, with all the rug designs and options available, you’ll probably be able to find one that works for you.
Protects Dropped Balls and Cues
The last on our list of benefits concerns dropped balls and cues. Not only can a rug protect the floor from this, but it also can protect the balls and cues themselves. Preventing a ball from chipping or a cue from cracking is a great reason to put a rug under a pool table.
Drawbacks of a Rug Under a Pool Table
Now that we know the pros, let’s take a look at the cons of a rug under a pool table.
Takes Time to Settle
Any time you put a pool table on a rug or carpeting, it’s going to take a little time to settle. This means you’ll have to re-level once you’ve given the table time to settle. If you do place your table on a rug, level it, wait 2 or 3 weeks, and check to see if the table is still level. If it’s not, you’ll need to adjust it again.
May Present a Tripping Hazard
If you get a rug that’s too thick, you can create a tripping hazard. This is why low or medium-pile rugs are preferable for use under pool tables. Most people won’t trip over a thin rug. Thick, fluffy rugs are a different story.
Can Cause an Uneven Surface Around the Table
A rug that’s too small can throw players off when they’re shooting. If you have one foot on the rug and one foot off in your shooting stance, it may throw your game off. Or, even if it doesn’t bother you, it may bother other players. This is why getting a large enough rug is important. (I discuss rug sizes in a section below.)
The Rug Will Be Damaged
There’s no two ways about it: a rug will be damaged by a pool table. The table is so heavy, it will leave divots where the legs rest on the rug. And they won’t come out.
There’s also the chance that your rug will have liquid spilled on it and chalk debris ground into it. As long as you understand that the rug will be damaged by the legs of the table, and that you’ll have to clean the rug occasionally, you’ll be well prepared for it.
How Big Should a Rug be Under a Pool Table?
The size of the pool table will dictate the size of the rug you’ll need. Ideally, you’ll want to have 3 to 4 feet of rug all around the table. This will allow most players to keep both feet on the rug while shooting.
If you have a 7 or 8-foot table, a 12’ x 15’ rug will work well for you. Luckily these types of area rugs are inexpensive on Amazon.
I recommend this rug from Safavieh’s Tulum Collection. It’s a medium pile Moroccan style rug that’s easy to clean and large enough to fit comfortably under a 7 or 8-foot pool table.
If you have a 9-foot table, Safaveih also offers a 12’ x 18’ rug. Just make sure your room is large enough for the rug of your choice before you buy it!
What’s the Best Rug Type for Under a Pool Table?
Medium or low-pile rugs are the best for use under pool tables. They provide comfort and protection without creating a tripping hazard. If you can’t find a rug you like in the correct size, you can always consult a carpet store or a big box home improvement store. They should be able to cut a piece of carpet to your specifications.
Here’s a quick guide for putting a pool table on carpet, if you go that route. You may pay a little more than one of the rugs above, but it’s worth a shot if you can’t find a style or size that’s right for your room.
I hope this helps you determine whether a rug under your pool table is right for you. Thanks for reading!