How to Install a Pool Table

how to install a pool table

Proper pool table assembly and installation are crucial to prevent any damage and keep your pool table in its best form for a long time.

That’s why professional installment is highly advised for pool table owners. But, not all pool table products come with free installation service.

Luckily, you can always install your pool table yourself or with some help from others.

While installing a pool table may look like a complicated task. The truth is everyone can assemble and install it as long as they keep strict attention to detail.

In today’s article, we are going to cover everything you need to know about how to install a pool table.

table of Contents

Step 1: Prepare your materials and tools

Preparing your materials and tools before performing any tasks can certainly save you time and prevent any delays in the installation.

Below, we’ve listed down all the important tools you’ll need in this project.

pieces laid out
  • Pool table parts and hardware
  • Hammer and nails
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Screws
  • Flathead and Phillips screwdriver
  • Stapler
  • Measuring tape
  • Glue
  • Marker
  • Leveler
  • Beeswax or putty
  • Putty knife
  • Blowtorch

Step 2. Check the quality of all the parts

Make sure that your pool table parts are complete and not damaged. Always refer to the owner’s manual to check if you have all the needed parts.

If you find any faulty parts, contact the supplier immediately. Do not use faulty parts as they may cause your table to collapse or acquire damage easily.

Step 3. Determine the pool table spot and spacing

Spacing is important to make sure that all players have enough space to move and execute their shots.

In addition, when learning how to install a pool table you need plenty of space to lay everything out and see what you’re doing.

The rule of thumb is to have at least 5 ft. space between the pool table side and the wall. This way players can have comfortable space for shooting.

After measuring the space. mark your desired pool table spot with some tape.

Step 4: Build the frame

how to install a pool table building the frame

While some frames are pre-assembled upon delivery, some may require you to assemble the frame by yourself.

If your frame is not preassembled, you may keep reading but if you have a pre-assembled frame, please proceed to the next step.

To build the frame, begin by positioning the cabinet upside-down on your marked spot.

Lay them on the floor as if the frame is already assembled along with the designated hardware and screws to connect each side faster and easier.

Next, start putting together the side panels and end panels. Make sure to keep all the screws secured with a screwdriver to avoid any damage.

Pool tables may have different frame assembly instructions depending on the pool table model. Always refer to your pool table’s user manual.

Step 5: Attach the legs

frame and legs

The legs will hold the most pressure on your pool table so you have to make sure that they are properly attached. Attach the leg supports and affix the pool table’s legs one by one. Secure all the screws and nuts. Make sure that the legs don’t wobble or move when shaken.

If you are certain that the legs are attached accordingly, you can turn your pool table cabinet with legs upright. Once again, check the legs if they are stable.

Step 6: Level the table

Leveling is important in pool tables to make sure that the shots are accurate and the balls will not go to only one side of the table. To level the table, use a leveler and check the balance of the table.

If you need to make slight height adjustments for balance, you may use a shim or tapered wedge to adjust the height and make the table level.

Step 7: Install the slates

When the frame and legs are secured. You can install the slates on the pool table.

The slates are the hard rock materials that serve as the playing surface of the pool table. Some pool table comes with a single slate while some come with three.

How to install a pool table one-piece slate

  • If your pool table only has a single slate, you can place it over your frame.
  • Next, level the slate with a leveler to make sure that it is properly balanced.
  • Then, screw the slate onto the frame securely.
  • Finally, level the slate again using a leveler to ensure that there are no unbalanced spots.
screwing down slate

Just like in the frame assembly, if there are any unbalanced spots, you can add shims to make them level.

How to install a pool table three piece slate

If you have a three-piece slate pool table, you’ll need to do some extra steps.

  • First, you’ll have to measure the table with a measuring tape to locate the center of the table.
  • Next, position your center slate on the table center.
  • After this, measure the open side spaces to make sure that they are even.
  • When you are sure that the measurements for each side are the same, you can proceed to position your side slates next to each side of the center slate.
  • Screw all the slates to the frame to prevent them from possible slipping.
  • Then, balance your slates using a leveler.
  • Finally, seal the slates.

There are two ways to seal three pieces of slates together. These ways are by using beeswax or putty.

How to seal pool table slates with beeswax

Apply glue to the gaps and joints of the slates for more adhesion and wipe off excess glue.

After this, melt the beeswax using your blowtorch over the gaps between the slates. Make sure that the beeswax melt covers all the gaps and joints so the slates will stick to each other securely.

Let the beeswax dry for a couple of hours or overnight for optimum results. After drying, you can scrape off the excess wax to make the surface smooth.

sealing slate

Recheck if the slates are sealed. If the slates are not sealed properly, reapply beeswax and let it dry.

How to seal pool table slates using a putty

Before applying the putty, you may apply glue to the gaps and joints of the slates for stronger adhesion. Make sure to wipe off excess glue before butting the putty.

Apply the putty to the gaps and joints of the slates. Next, let the putty dry for a few minutes. Then, scrape off the excess hardened mixture to smoothen the slates’ surface.

Step 8. Attach the felt

The felt is important to control the speed and spin of the balls whenever they are hit. When the pool table frame, legs, and slates are all securely affixed to each other, you can proceed to attach the felt.

Before attaching the felt, make sure that the surface is clean and smooth to prevent uneven spots.

After ensuring that the surface is clean, spread the felt on the pool table covering the entire surface. It’s better to use oversized felt so the entire surface is covered, you can cut the excess felt later.

Fasten the felt on the first pool tableside using a stapler. Next, stretch the felt to make sure that there will be no wrinkles when you secure the felt on the other sides.

gluing felt

Staple the felt on all the sides of the pool table accordingly.

Then, spray glue to the felt that covers the pool table pockets. Let the glue dry for a few minutes and make cuts into the felt.

Push the cut part of the felt into the pocket opening and fold it underneath the pocket. Make sure to fold it neatly and smooth out any wrinkles before securing the underside of the pocket opening.

Do the same steps for the other pockets.

After attaching the felt to the pool table and making openings for the pockets, proceed with attaching the felt to the rails.

Starting from the end rail, hammer the rail on the felt that covers the side parts of the pool table. Smooth out all wrinkles while installing the rails. Repeat the same step until you attach all the rails to the pool table.

Always ensure that all pool table areas are covered with felt. Finally, you can cut the excess felt.

attaching pockets

Step 9: Attach the drop pockets to the underside

The drop pockets will collect the balls hit on the pool table. To attach the drop pockets, staple them to the underside of the table.

Make sure that they are properly attached and secured. After this, you can finally enjoy playing pool on your new pool table.

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