All About Pool Table Slate (and Why It’s Better)

All About Pool Table Slate (and Why It’s Better)

This post includes affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, we may get a commission at no additional cost to you as a result of your purchase. More information may be found here. So you’re interested in learning more about pool table slate? You’ve arrived to the correct location. It’s actually a highly intriguing issue that dates back to the 1820s and is still relevant today. Sure, understanding about slate will not make you a better pool player, but it may instill a greater sense of respect for the sport.

What is a Slate Pool Table?

The first natural inquiry is, what exactly is a slate pool table? If you didn’t already know, “slate” refers to the sort of material that is utilized to construct the pool table itself. It’s a bluish-gray rock that may be found in the natural world. A pool table is, as the name implies, the table on which you play billiards or pool. The process by which these tables are constructed, why slate is the chosen building material (and why it is superior to alternative, less expensive materials), and other aspects are all covered in greater depth below, so please continue reading for more information.

How is it Made?

Image courtesy of PIRO4D on Pixabay. It is natural for the slate to split into large bits. Initially, the producer would take a chunk of slate and make a “rough cut” out of it. When you do a rough cut, you are cutting an item into proportions that are close to the final ones. For example, a billiard table that measures 88 inches long by 44 inches wide could be rough cut to 96 inches long by 58 inches broad by the manufacturer. Rough cuts are rapid and effective in reducing the overall size and weight of the object.

Following that, they’ll polish and grind the slate until it’s square, smooth, and level.

Other holes have been bored into the slate, which will aid in the final installation of the slate to the table’s structure.

The slate is supported by a wood backing that is attached to the wall.

Where Does the Slate Come From?

Photograph courtesy of SMcCandlish/CC BY-SA Due to the fact that slate is a naturally occurring mineral, it is sourced from a natural setting. There are a handful of countries that have a significantly greater supply of slate and are the top exporters of this material. Brazil, China, India, and Italy are the top four exporters of slate in the world. When it comes to slate connoisseurs, Italian-produced slate is considered to be the best available. A piece of good news has arrived if you notice a “OIS” marking on your table.

It denotes that the slate is genuine Italian slate. As strange as it may seem, the slate that is produced in each country has a different composition in terms of its raw materials. Slate from Brazil, for example, is stronger and more durable, while slate from Italy is softer and easier to work with.

Why is Slate Good for Pool Table Construction?

There are several important reasons why people use slate for the construction of a pool table. The material is really affordable, and it is also extremely simple to deal with. Tables made of slate may be mass manufactured; however, the time required to attain the requisite flatness is a significant factor. Slate is also extremely smooth, and, like most rocks, it is simple to polish it even further with a stone abrasive. This means that the playing field will be close to ideal in quality. One of the many inherent advantages of slate is its long-lasting nature.

There are several pool table manufacturers that will provide a lifetime guarantee on their slate tables because of how robust they are.

How Much Does it Weigh?

The thickness of the slate determines the weight of the slate. The slate of a pool table usually weights between 400 and 600 pounds on average. The table’s weight is a significant disadvantage because it makes it much more difficult to move about. However, because of the weight, the table is far more durable, which creates a catch-22 situation for slate pool tables.

What is the Thickness of Pool Table Slate?

On a pool table, the thickness of the slate will range between three-quarters of an inch and an inch and half. If they choose a piece that is too thin, it will split and disintegrate in a short period of time. If the component is excessively thick, it will be too heavy to be of any practical use. This dimension is likewise based on tradition; nevertheless, some table manufacturers choose to use thicker pieces of wood for their tables.

Slate Pool Table Vs Non-Slate Pool Table

Cross Creek Slate Pool Table with Dining Top, 8ft Pool Table are examples of slate tables. There are three types of pool tables that are not made of slate. Plastic layers on top of a particle board are what Permaslate and Slatron are, which are synthetic materials that are similar to Permaslate and Slatron in appearance. Another alternative is honeycomb, which consists of a hard plastic honeycomb design sandwiched between two sheets of hard plastic. The honeycomb’s geometrical structure is extremely robust.

This is a substance that you may have come into contact with in the past.

This is the most widely used non-slate pool table in the world.

How to Tell if a Table is Slate or Non-Slate

The fastest way to determine if a table is made of slate or not is to peek below. Because the table’s bottom is not felted, the raw material will be seen. It’s a slate table when the bottom of the table is a bluish-gray color on the bottom. Take a couple balls and observe their movement if you don’t want to peek underneath the table. A slate table does not have any inconsistencies in velocity, whether the ball makes an unexpected curve, or if the course is not straight at all.

Major Differences Between Non-Slate and Slate Pool Tables

Without a doubt, there are significant distinctions between slate and non-slate surfaces. For the sake of argument, we’ll select MDF as our non-slate table material because it’s the more commonly-used material option in this situation. Let’s have a look at the most significant distinctions. Price. A low-end MDF table is approximately seven times less costly than a low-end slate table of comparable quality. In reality, a high-end MDF pool table is still less expensive than a low-end slate pool table in terms of overall cost.

  • The grade of MDF is not very high.
  • When the balls are struck along the table, their trajectory will be unexpected, and they will curve as they go.
  • MDF pool tables cannot be re-clothed; instead, the table must be thrown away and a new one purchased.
  • Consider the scenario in which you drop a drink on a pool table.
  • For slate tables, there should be no difficulty as long as the felt does not become destroyed.
  • When it comes to a slate pool table, all you’d have to do is have it re-clothed.
  • Professional pool players can identify within the first few strokes of a game whether or not the table is made of slate.

The slate’s flatness and smoothness are particularly appealing to professionals.

If slate tables are preferred by all of the pros, that says something.

Slate pool tables are quite hefty, as you may have read previously.

Wood floats, rocks sink, and so forth.

Slate, on the other hand, is a rock, while MDF is composed of wood.

The weight differential is approximately seven times greater; a slate table weighs approximately seven times more than an MDF table.

As a result, once a slate pool table has been installed, it cannot be moved. If you want to rearrange the furniture or relocate the table, you’ll need to hire an expert to help you.

Other Considerations

Of course, this isn’t a comprehensive list of everything you should know about pool tables. With a slate table, you have the choice of choosing either one or three pieces, depending on your needs and preferences. Let’s find out more about this and then talk about cost.

One piece vs Three Piece Slate Tables

One-piece slate tables are constructed from a single large piece of slate. Tables made with three pieces of slate will take a single large piece of slate and cut it into three equal portions. They are placed and leveled individually, and they may be adjusted independently as well.

What’s the Difference?

Leveling. One of the most significant changes is that a three-piece slate table allows you to level the table with far more precision. It will be difficult for a one-piece table to be leveled on an uneven floor or carpet if the table is being placed on an uneven surface. Three-piece slate tables may be leveled at each of the three portions in reference to the floor by adjusting the height of the top section. This implies that the entire table will be parallel to your floor, and you will not have an unexpected ball path as a result of an uneven table.

  • Tables that are often used will have naturally occurring high and low points on the surface of the table.
  • With a three-piece slate table, you can easily correct these issues.
  • When you think about it, the three-piece table makes use of the same piece of slate while dividing the weight three times evenly.
  • Seam.
  • Warp.
  • Due to the fact that the table is so heavy and lengthy, the weight will have an impact on the middle.

Which is Better?

Three-piece slate tables are usually preferable than one-piece slate tables when fitted by a qualified technician. Three-piece tables are preferred by the majority of experts for the same reasons stated above.

How do you Level a Slate Pool Table?

A carpenter’s level is required in order to level a slate pool table. Place the level in the center of the table and take measurements in both the x and y directions, then repeat the process. Next, place a level on either side of the table and take measures from there as well. If any of these measurements indicate that the table is not level, you’ll need to modify the table’s legs. It’s possible that your floor is uneven, which is why it’s so common to have to adjust a pool table after it’s been installed.Once you’ve verified that all of your measurements are level, you can move on to flatness testing.The first thing you can do is roll a ball down the table and observe the path it takes.

Get a flat and smooth coaster, piece of plastic, or piece of glass.

Bring these two items over to your pool table and place the flat piece on the table in front of a pocket on your table to begin.

It is necessary to repeat this procedure for each pocket, as well as in the middle of the table, in order to get a more precise outcome in terms of the level of the table.

If the marble begins to roll to one side, you’ll need to adjust the table’s legs accordingly. To adjust the table’s legs, you’ll need to refer to the table’s handbook or search online for the instructions. The legs of each table may be adjusted in a different way from the others.

How to Move a Slate Pool Table?

The most desirable method of moving a slate pool table is to engage specialists who have received specialized training in pool table relocation. Providing you have the necessary equipment, carpentry skills, and a bunch of willing assistants, you may move the table on your own. These tables weigh a lot of weight. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t move the table as a single unit. Disassemble the table and indicate the steps for reassembling it when the table has been moved to its proper location.

Slate Pool Table Prices

American Heritage’s Da Vinci Pool Table is a beautiful piece of furniture. The price of a slate pool table will range from $1600 to $15000 dollars. Look at the prices of atable in its many orientations, including the 7 ft, 8 ft, and 9 ft. You could be surprised. The majority of the time, 7 and 8 foot tables are priced the same. The cost of 9 ft tables is around $500 greater than the cost of shorter tables. 7 and 8 ft. tall This table, which is priced at $1600, would be considered the low end of the spectrum for a 7 or 8 foot table.

9 ft.

This table, which is priced at $2700, is the cheapest option for a 9-foot, three-piece slate table.

If you want a bespoke table, the cost will be more than $100,000.

Slate Vs. Non-Slate Pool Table

There is a great deal of dispute among pool and billiards enthusiasts over what substance is used beneath the felt. Some pool tables are constructed with a slate foundation, while others are constructed with a different substance. Professional players have a distinct preference for slate, despite the fact that home users may choose the less expensive options that are nonetheless functional.

See also:  How to Play Backgammon: Layout & Setup


Although slate is the most common kind, the non-slate group has a significantly larger range of materials. Several types of slate-like materials, such as slatron and permaslate, are available, as well as materials with a plastic honeycomb surface or even particle board. It is not possible to view slate or any of its substitutes since they are covered with a felt play surface. However, you will notice certain variances over time as the surface wears down.

Slate Benefits

Slate is a very durable and strong material that is ideal for pool tables due to the fact that it can be leveled to a very precise tolerance level (within.0001 inches). When playing a game where the position of the pool balls is critical, it is critical to ensure that the balls do not roll randomly. With the passage of time, slate also becomes more resistant to harm, particularly when the slate is thicker.

Alternative Benefits

The primary reason for the existence of alternatives is the expense, as slate tables are significantly more expensive than other options. Due to the fact that slate is a type of rock, there is also a consideration of weight.

Consequently, slate tables are exceedingly heavy—particularly three-piece slate tables, which are commonly used in professional settings. (bars have single-piece slate tables). Tables that are not made of slate are often less expensive, lighter, or a combination of the two.

Alternative Drawbacks

In contrast to slate, none of the other materials can be leveled to a precise tolerance. This implies that while they may appear flat, they are not always perfectly flat. There is a chance that a ball will roll in the incorrect direction or that it will not be totally level when it is dropped. In addition to durability, players favor slate over alternative materials because they do not chip or wear as easily as alternative materials over time.

Surface Care

Regardless of the surface you pick, make certain that your players never scratch the surface of the pool table with their cues, and that while racking the balls, the rack is always lifted about 1/2 inch off the table’s surface. When not in use, vacuum dust and other debris off the table and cover it with a good-quality, well-fitting cover when not in use. These measures will assist you in maintaining the condition of your pool table, regardless of the model you pick.

Slate vs Wood Pool Tables: All the differences you need to know

A billiard table is an absolute must-have for any man cave, but the most difficult decision you will have to make is whether to choose a slate or a wood table. The bed of a billiard table is located beneath the felt, and the composition of this bed will impact everything from how well the table plays to how much it will cost, how long it will last, and even how heavy the table will be when it is finished. A level table bed is essential for the balls to roll straight and true when they hit the table.

What is a slate pool table?

As the bed of the table, an aslate pool table is constructed from one or occasionally three slabs of slate (or machined rock). As a result, slate is highly sought after for billiard tables because it can be crushed and polished into an extremely smooth surface relatively quickly. The slate is typically 3/4 to 1 inch thick and weighs between 450 and 600 lbs, depending on its thickness. The slate may be broken down into three slabs, each weighing between 150 and 200 lbs, to make transportation more straightforward.

What is a wood pool table?

MDF is a kind of wood that is widely used in the construction of wood tables (Medium-density fibreboard). MDF is a composite of hardwood and softwood fibers that are bonded together with a resin to form a solid piece of furniture. A MDF bed may be quickly machined to the desired size and is far more cost effective than slate or other natural stone.

How are wood and slate tables made?

Making a slate table from scratch:

How to compare Slate and Wood tables

In terms of distinctions between slate and wood pool tables, they may be divided into the following categories:

  1. Cost: How much they differ in terms of pricing
  2. Warping refers to the way a pool table bends. Durability: How long will each of them endure
  3. Gameplay: The way each table interacts with one another. Differences in weight and portability: How they differ in terms of weight and portability

1. Cost

Slate is a natural material that is difficult to obtain and process into a truly flat surface, making it more expensive when compared to particle board. Before anything else, it has to be dug out of the earth. Once a component has been mined, it must be costed to size and leveled before it may be used. This additional effort as well as the hefty freight expenses all contribute to the overall cost of a slate table table. A slate bed table is often 25 percent to 50 percent more expensive than a wood bed table, depending on the manufacturer.

2. Warping

A slate table’s bed will almost never flex or warp due to the nature of the material. Tables made of wood (MDF) are not immune to this problem, which is regrettable. Over time, moisture will be absorbed by MDF.

Changes in humidity and temperature will hasten the progression of the disease. Warping of a wood table will only become visible after a lengthy period of time, possibly several years. Every wood table will eventually flex to a certain degree, causing the ball to no longer play true.

3. Longevity

The majority of slate table manufacturers will guarantee a lifetime warranty on their products. A wood table, on the other hand, will not be in this situation. Due to the fact that wood tables absorb moisture, any humidity or spills will result in ripples or waves on the playing surface. The quality of the frame that surrounds the bed is also a significant component in determining how long a table will survive. Slate tables are often constructed from higher-quality materials. These frameworks not only provide support for the heavier bed, but they also improve the entire appearance and quality of the table.

4. Game Play

Wood tables tend to be a little “slower” in their play than slate tables. If you are accustomed to playing on slate, playing on wood will provide a very different experience. Playing on slate will provide you with the most authentic experience possible every time you play. As long as the surface is level, the balls will roll smoothly. Almost every major 8-ball and 9-ball competition is held on a slate table. All players will agree that playing on a slate is far more enjoyable.

5. Weight/Portability

Compared to slate tables, wood tables tend to be a little “slower.” Playing on wood will provide a completely different experience for those who are used to slate. Each and every time you play on slate, you will get the genuine deal. All of the balls roll smoothly on a flat surface. Almost every major 8-ball and 9-ball tournament is played on a slate table these days. Playing on slate is a considerably more enjoyable experience, as all players will attest.

How thick should the slate on a table be?

Wood tables tend to play a little “slower” than slate tables in terms of speed. If you are used to playing on slate, playing on wood will provide a very different experience. Playing on slate will provide you with the most authentic experience every time you play. It is level, and the balls roll true on the surface. Slate tables are used for all major 8 and 9 ball competitions. All players will agree that playing on slate is far more enjoyable.

One piece slate vs three piece slate

When it comes to pool table installation, which is preferable: one-piece slate or three-piece slate? All of this is dependent on how you want to utilize the table. Many pub and bar owners prefer one-piece tables that may be readily relocated from one location to another. The majority of other slate tables are made from three pieces of slate, as well. These tables may still be properly aligned to generate a real and smooth table surface despite their larger size. When compared to one-piece slate tables, three-piece slate tables are less expensive to make and transport.

These pieces begin as a single piece, which is then chopped and matched to create a perfectly level playing area for the game.

Three-piece slate tables are often created from the same original slate piece, which has been chopped into three pieces for convenience.

This facilitates transportation and installation while also ensuring that all three components “match” in terms of size, i.e., they are all the same length. Due to the fact that the installer has various portions of the table to modify, leveling a three-piece table is also simpler.

How to work out if a table is slate without taking it apart

To quickly determine whether a table is made of slate or wood, try picking up one end of the table. There’s a strong likelihood that the table can’t be lifted up because it’s made of slate. If the table can be picked up, it is most likely not a slate table, as the name implies. Please take care not to injure yourself! The table’s underside may also be found by looking below it. If it is slate, the color will be gray and the texture will be similar to stone.

Slate Alternatives

Because of the high cost and weight of slate, there are a variety of other options for bed frames. Aside from wood (MDF), there are a variety of different “composite” materials that may be utilized to construct a pool table’s bed surface. Plasmaslate Plasmaslate is an extremely lightweight and durable alternative to traditional stone. It is made of particleboard with plastic sheets placed in the centre to give it a layered appearance. It has a flat surface, similar to slate, and is capable of withstanding a tremendous lot of pressure.

Honeycomb Honeycomb beds are also a less expensive option to slate that are similar in appearance.

The disadvantage of using this material is that it is prone to warping and wearing over time.

Slate vs Slate Core vs Wood Slate

Things are getting a little out of hand now! In order to “muddy” the idea of what a slate table truly implies, other pool table nomenclature has been created throughout the years. Some simple definitions can assist in making things more clear: Solid rock is what the term “slate”table refers to. The slate was mined from a slate quarry. Italy, Brazil, India, and China are the top exporters of slate, with the rest of the globe importing the material. Many people believe that Italy produces the best slate available.

The surface of this blend is more durable than that of wood.

What makes a slate pool table so great?

When it comes to pool tables, slate is the only material that can be precisely leveled to 1/10,000 of an inch, ensuring that the pool balls roll in a straight line on every shot. If you don’t care whether or not the balls roll straight, you may save money by purchasing a wood table instead. If money is a concern, pros will always advise that it is preferable to get a used slate table rather than a new wood table. Don’t be deceived by the fact that both sorts of tables will appear to be almost identical in appearance.

In order to have a fun game of pool, you need a surface that is exceptionally level. We can recommend a number of excellent pool tables available on Amazon. In the end, it’s all about what’s underneath the felt! Wishing you a successful purchase!

Slate vs Wood Pool Table: Which Table is Right for You?

The dilemma of whether to purchase a slate or a wood bed table is one of the first that comes to mind for most pool players who are wanting to set up their own billiard room. Due to the fact that slate tables are considerably more popular and desirable than their MDF (wood) equivalents, but they are also significantly more expensive, this is true. Their exorbitant prices, on the other hand, are not without rationale. Slate tables have several intrinsic characteristics that are just not available in the MDF counterpart.

  • So, which table is the most appropriate for you?
  • In the event that you’re a casual pool player who just wants to have a good time and isn’t too concerned with winning, an MDF table is a terrific budget-friendly solution.
  • It’s because slate tables give a more genuine and constant playing surface than MDF tables, which is vital if you’re wanting to enhance your pool sharking abilities.
  • Take a look at these articles!
  • Choosing the Best Pool Cues for the Money: There’s a Cue for Every Budget There are 18 different pool table lights that you may use in your billiard room. There are 23 billiard accessories that you simply cannot live without. The top ten best pool tables under $1000 are as follows:
See also:  10 Best Outdoor Games for Adults

What’s The Difference Between Slate Bed And Wood Bed Tables?

Quite simply, a slate bed pool table, or slate table for short, refers to a billiard table that has its playing surface made of slate. A wood bed table is one that has a playing surface made of MDF (medium-density fiberboard). A higher-end material such as slate is more expensive, but it is utilized on higher-quality tables, whereas MDF is a more cost-effective choice. This takes us to the subject of.


Whenever we make a decision on anything we want to buy, pricing is always a consideration. When it comes to pool tables, the situation is no different. Slate tables are quite costly, as you are all well know! Slate tables are expensive, and a 48 slate table will cost you over $1000 on the low end and upwards of $10,000 on the high end. You can clearly see why so many people pick MDF tables when cost is their major concern when comparing that pricing to the price of a comparable sized plywood table, which runs roughly $500.

  1. Due to the fact that the majority of slate used in pool tables is sourced from overseas, it is more expensive to get than MDF.
  2. Furthermore, transporting something that hefty is never inexpensive.
  3. In addition, the price rises as a result of this.
  4. Keep in mind that there are many grades of slate to choose from as well.
  5. MDF, on the other hand, is less expensive to make and weighs significantly less.

As a result, the materials utilized are frequently less expensive. Because of the lower cost of these components, the price of an MDF table may be kept rather low. These are excellent options for folks who wish to acquire their own table without having to take money out of their retirement account.


When comparing a slate table to an MDF table, most pool purists will agree that there is a considerable difference in playing experience. When compared to MDF tables, slate tables play quicker and smoother, which means that the balls roll across the felt with greater ease, whereas MDF tables generate some level of “drag,” which causes the cue ball and the object balls to move less distance when the same amount of shot strength is used. A slate table is undoubtedly more forgiving than an MDF table, and you will notice a difference in the way it plays if you are used to playing on slate tables.

  • While we’re on the subject of playability, it’s necessary to mention another crucial factor: warping.
  • This is particularly prevalent with MDF tables.
  • This implies that dropping a drink on your table might cause it to warp, making any competitive play impossible to complete.
  • It is practically impossible to avoid warping of MDF tables if they are not stored in a correct atmosphere for an extended period of time.
  • Because slate does not absorb moisture in the same way that MDF does, the likelihood of a slate table ever warping is quite low.
  • This, on the other hand, is extremely rare to occur because slate tables are constructed of tougher and higher-quality materials.


When it comes to mobility, MDF tables have a significant edge over other materials. Because they are so much lighter than slate tables, they are far easier to carry and build than slate tables themselves. While it may not seem like a huge concern, many people are deterred from purchasing a pool table because of how much of a headache it is to transport it. Not that an MDF table isn’t still heavy and unpleasant to move, but moving a table that weighs 200 pounds is a lot simpler than moving a table that weighs 800 pounds, as you can see here (or more).

  • This is an excellent option for someone who wants to own their own table but does not have a dedicated space for it in their home.
  • Slate tables have a lot in common with other household items such as refrigerators, toilets, and pianos.
  • A slate table should be placed in an area that will be used exclusively for billiards, so that you won’t have to worry about transferring it in the future if you get one.
  • Even when completely dismantled, a single-piece slate top may weigh between 500 and 600 pounds, without adding the rest of the table’s components.
  • A slate table is a job best left to the pros, and moving and installing one is no exception.

Paying a skilled expert to transport and install any slate table you purchase is something I would strongly advise you to do. Doing it yourself is not worth the risk of saving a few dollars in the short run.

Other Things To Consider When Buying A Pool Table

Having explored the distinctions between slate and MDF tables, let’s move on to what you should think about before making a decision.


A lot of individuals don’t see the point in spending thousands of dollars on a pool table since they have budgets they are trying to keep to and other financial objectives they are attempting to attain at the same time. Unfortunately, when it comes to pool tables, superior quality comes at a premium cost. In order to obtain a table that will last a lifetime, you’ll have to invest a little bit more money, which almost often entails purchasing a slate table instead of a wood table. To be clear, this does not rule out the possibility of a high-quality MDF table lasting a lifetime.

  1. In contrast, if you like entertaining frequently or have small children, the likelihood of this occurring is quite low.
  2. It’s not uncommon to locate secondhand tables at a fantastic price simply because someone is relocating and doesn’t want to deal with the inconvenience of transporting the table with them.
  3. Purchase a used table, regardless of the reason for the seller’s sale, since it is an excellent method to obtain a high-quality table at a reasonable price.
  4. You don’t want to spend all of your money on a meal and then find yourself unable to pay transportation back home.


The size of the table you may purchase is mostly determined by the amount of room available for it to be placed in. A 1212 room does not imply that you should place a 4.59 tournament-sized table in there, and vice versa. In spite of the fact that the table itself will fit, you must take into consideration the additional space required to pull your pool stick back when taking a shot. It is possible that the space is too narrow and that the butt end of the cue will contact the wall each time you pull it back.

  • Before you purchase a table, you must ensure that you have adequate space for it and that you will be able to shoot photos comfortably from every side of the table before making your purchase.
  • To determine whether or not your room is large enough, simply measure the length of the table and multiply it by the length of two pool sticks (one for each end of the table).
  • Take 116″ and add it to the length of your table to complete the equation.
  • Once you are finished with the length of the table, repeat the same for the width.
  • These two measures represent the room dimensions required for your table to function properly.

In case you want assistance in determining this, please see my post What Size Room Do You Need for a Pool Table? (With Chart). For each table size, I’ve created a chart that gives the minimum suggested room measurements for each table.

Style of Play

When purchasing a table, it is also important to consider your preferred style of play. As a casual pool player, you probably don’t have the same pool table needs as a professional, and the same is true for professionals. The majority of tournaments are held on slate tables, therefore it makes sense for the advanced player to train on the same table that he would be playing on during the competition. Casual players who only want a table for enjoyment and amusement may not feel the need to spend a lot of money on slate, and in most cases, an MDF table will suffice their purposes.

Play Time

For many individuals, finding time to do anything other than job, household duties, spending time with family, and sleeping is a constant struggle because of the demands of modern life. Most of us have extremely hectic schedules, and finding time to do something enjoyable is not always high on our priority list of things to accomplish. And, while having a personal pool table is enticing to nearly everyone who enjoys the game, purchasing one and then not having the opportunity to utilize it can be rather annoying.

Without proper preparation, you may find yourself treating it as an enormous storage shelf rather than a source of amusement and recreation.


Finally, deciding on the most appropriate table comes down to what you plan on using the table for as well as how long you anticipate it to endure, as well as your financial constraints. Here’s a short rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of each table.

Slate Table

  • Last longer
  • Are warp resistant
  • Are of higher quality
  • Have a better playing surface
  • Have a higher resale value


  • Warping, worse quality, a shorter life span, and a lower resale value are all consequences of warping.

I hope that this post has made your selection a little bit simpler to make. If you have any additional inquiries, please don’t hesitate to contact us or go through our other informative articles for answers to all of your billiard-related concerns.

Other Articles You May Be Interested In:

  • Choosing the Best Pool Cues for the Money: There’s a Cue for Every Budget Simple Steps to Quickly and Easily Level a Pool Table
  • Billiards (Pool) has a long and colorful history. So really interesting
  • In order to accommodate a pool table, what size room do you require? (With a diagram)
  • It is essential that you understand the basics of outdoor pool tables.

What’s the difference between MDF & slate bed pool tables?

The bed is the primary component of the table that serves as the playing surface. If you look closely, it is a flat, smooth surface that is meant to provide constant ball roll in any direction. After then, it is coated with a pool cloth to create drag, and it is encircled by bouncy rubber cushions to provide comfort. 3:37 Differences in the way things are put together

What is an MDF Bed?

The bed is the primary component of the table that serves as the playing surface. It is made of solid wood. In any direction, it is a flat, smooth surface that is meant to provide constant ball roll. A pool towel is then wrapped around it to create drag, and bouncy rubber cushions are placed around it to provide comfort. 3:37 Differences in Structure

What is a Slate Bed?

A slate bed is a chunk of rock slate that may be up to an inch thick that was originally mined from the soil in a slate mine and used as a flooring material. In order to get a flawlessly flat surface, the rock is machined and cut into the desired form before being mechanically honed. It is then secured inside the table’s cupboard and covered with a tablecloth. A cutaway view of a pool table, revealing the slate bed. Whilst the majority of standard-sizeBritish pool tables are made of a single slate, bigger tables, such as American pool tables and snooker tables, are constructed with a sectional slate.

This is delivered in two or even three parts, which are put into the cabinet and then cemented into place by the expert once they have been installed.

What are the Benefits of MDF Bed Tables?

There are several advantages to owning a pool table with an MDF bed. You’ll note right away that they are far less expensive than slate bed tables, with even some 6-foot class-leading tables costing well under £400. In addition, they are constructed of lightweight materials. This implies that you will have no issue lifting them and moving them around the room. When they are equipped with foldable legs, they become the ideal choice for spaces that are limited in size. You can easily fold it up and move it out of the way after you’ve finished playing.

See also:  8 Types of Word Puzzles to Keep You Sharp

What are the Drawbacks of MDF Bed Tables?

The only true disadvantage of an MDF table is that it is not very fast. However, even if the composite beds made by manufacturers today are quite sophisticated, and some of them provide game quality that is comparable to slate, there is still a trade-off between game performance on the one hand, and cost/weight on the other. Additionally, you’ll discover that your selections are more limited. Most MDF tables are delivered as a complete set, which means that you will not be able to update the cloth for greater performance or to experiment with a new color, and you will not be able to take use of some of the additional construction possibilities that are available with slate beds (like ball return systems, marine ply cabinets or interchangeable pocket liners).

(Beginning at £495.00)

What are the Benefits of Slate Bed Tables?

The most significant single advantage of a slate bed is its performance. Slate beds are used on all professional pool and snooker competition tables around the world because the ball roll is believed to be absolutely accurate on slate beds. For serious pool players training for tournaments or for pub players who want the same performance as they receive in the bar, a slate bed table will offer you with the game performance you’re seeking for at a reasonable price. Due to the fact that slate bed tables are genuine sporting equipment, the components will be of the best possible standard.

In addition, you’ll have a lot more freedom to design a table that’s perfect for you.

To summarize, slate tables all have a similar game quality, thus your major selections should be centered on how they appear rather than how well they perform in games.

(Beginning at £8995.00)

What are the Drawbacks of Slate Bed Tables?

Slate bedside tables are substantial in weight. The truth is that there is no simple way to explain it. Even 6-foot tables in the United Kingdom, which are the smallest slate beds, may weigh up to 250kg. As a result, after they’ve been put, it’s preferable to leave them in place – not just because they’re tough to move, but also because if they’re moved by inexperienced individuals, the slate may get out of alignment.

They are also more expensive since the mining and processing of rock slate is a lengthy process, and because the tables are frequently built by hand by skilled artisans in small companies, they are more expensive. Installing a sectional slate bed with the assistance of a specialist.


Even while MDF bed tables are not able to match with slate bed tables in terms of absolute performance, they are the most cost-effective option for those looking to purchase their own pool table. They’re an excellent choice for many casual gamers, as well as for homes and families because they’re affordable, adaptable, and still capable of hosting a nice game. When it comes to gaming performance, slate bed tables are the very best on the market. However, this high level of performance comes at a cost, not only in terms of the purchase price, but also in terms of their inflexibility.

You can see our whole selection of slate and MDF tables here.

Slate VS MDF Pool Table

When it comes to upgrading or adding a pool table to your game room, making a decision on which pool table to purchase can be a stressful process. Although you can read through various reviews on how to purchase the best pool table, you will likely still have unanswered questions. Before you make your final decision, you should be aware of the differences between a slate pool table and an MDF pool table. In order for pool balls to roll straight and true to the desired points on the table, you must have a table bed that is both straight and extremely flat.

When it comes to making the bed, different board makers use different materials.

Slate Bed Tables

When it comes to upgrading or adding a pool table to your gaming room, making a decision on which pool table to purchase may be a stressful endeavor. When it comes to choosing the greatest pool table, you might go through several reviews and still have unresolved questions. The difference between a slate and an MDF pool table must be understood before making a final selection. A straight and highly level table bed is required for pool balls to roll straight and true to the correct places on the table.

A variety of materials are used in the construction of the bed by different board manufacturers.

  • Warping- With regular care, slate will remain flat throughout the course of time. A hard surface will only cause it to warp if it is struck with enough force to cause it to bend. Changes in temperature or humidity in the gaming room have no effect on the performance of Slate. All that is required is that you change and clean the felt over time, and the slate will retain its original condition. When you play on a slate bed, you will experience the truest form of gaming. In addition to being smooth and level, the slate table bed provides a genuine surface that allows for optimum ball control and great straight strokes. In order to do this, all major 8-ball and 9-ball tournaments, pool leagues, and other similar events prefer to employ slate bed tables.
  • In the absence of proper care and upkeep, slate will remain flat throughout the years. A hard surface will only cause it to deform in this situation. Changes in temperature or humidity in the gaming room have no effect on the performance of slate. Simply changing and cleaning the felt on a regular basis will ensure that the slate maintains its original condition. When you play on a slate bed, you will experience the truest form of reality. In addition to being smooth and level, the slate table bed provides a genuine surface for optimal ball control as well as superb straight strokes. Because of this, slate bed tables are preferred and used by all major 8-ball and 9-ball competitions and pool leagues.

MDF Bed Pool Table

Table beds constructed of wood, as the name implies, are what these are. Many people choose them due of their affordability and light weight, which allows them to be carried around with relative ease. Depending on the sort of wood that is utilized, you will obtain varied outcomes. As a result, the tables are both more cost-effective to construct and lighter to ship and handle after they have arrived at their destination.

However, the disadvantage of using MDF is that its responsiveness is not the same as that of a slate bed table and that it might deform somewhat over time, resulting in the ball not playing true. PROS

  • Slightly smaller tables are preferred by many novices and children who wish to take part in the games and learn more while having an easier time moving about. Because there are so many possibilities to pick from, wood table beds make it easy to do so. You may always acquire a tiny, portable wood or MDF table to fit your needs and your budget
  • Because of the modest weight of a wooden pool table, it is simple to dismantle, move, and reassemble it as needed. This makes it an excellent choice for gaming rooms in the house because it can be quickly moved about if you do not like the position of your table. Price- The majority of wood bed pool tables are constructed from MDF, which is a significantly less expensive material. Because the price is passed to the entire price of the table, wood tables are a popular choice among individuals who are on a tight budget.
  • Warping- Over time, the wood/MDF beds warp, resulting in uneven surface locations on the table’s surface. The warping of the table is increased if the table is stored in a humid environment. Temperature variations from time to time are also a contributing factor. This is the most frequently encountered drawback among wood table beds. Gameplay- If you are accustomed to playing on slate, you will notice a distinct difference when playing on wood, since it is a little slower in response time. However, regardless of what the manufacturer or marketer claims, you will still notice a difference in the ball control. Accidental spills of liquids can occur at any time in the game room, whether from spilled beverages or a leaking room. The liquids are absorbed by the wood/MDF bed, which has a significant impact on the trueness of the playing surface.

Choosing a slate bed is recommended since it provides for a more enjoyable game and a greater variety of finish and fabric color combinations than other options. BilliardsBill- Professional Advice Don’t squander your money on a table made of MDF. It is not an actual pool table, but rather a toy of a pool table. It will not benefit you when you are really shooting on a slate table because the game will not play the same way as on a regular table. Look on eBay or Craigslist for a used slate table in your neighborhood, or better yet, exercise some patience and save your money until you can afford to purchase a new slate table from a furniture store.

If you’ve ever played on a genuine slate table, which I’m sure you have, you’re not going to enjoy this one.

One Piece Slate vs. Three Piece Slate

It’s an age-old debate: which is better for pool: a three-piece slate pool table or a one-piece slate pool table? It all depends on who you’re asking, to be honest with you. According to a bar or pub owner, they frequently have to relocate their coin-operated pool tables in order to accommodate large crowds during special events. This is why these coin-operated machines feature a 3/4-inch one-piece slate. Moving a pool table in one piece can cause significant damage to the seams where the three sections of a three-piece slate come together.

  • The cabinet that holds the slate is designed to wrap around and embrace the slate, ensuring that even when the table is tipped on its side (which requires some practice), it remains securely in place.
  • An Aramith Fusion Pool Table owner will tell you that having a 3/4 inch one piece slate is a great feature since it allows them to lower their pool table to eating height and then bring it back up to playing height with a single click.
  • Fusions do not really move about the room, but the leg movement (which causes them to rise and fall) makes the one-piece slate necessary.
  • When they bought the table (about 35 years ago), they were assured that a one-piece slate was significantly preferable than the two-piece slate.
  • From one end to the other, the surface is flawlessly smooth and even.
  • If you ask me, a billiard mechanic with 24 years of expertise moving all sorts of pool tables, I’ll tell you that attempting to move a one-piece slate is a pain in the rear.
  • When it comes to refelting your pool table, they are tough to handle.

When transporting a one-piece slate up and down stairs, it is not only difficult, but also unsafe to carry the entire weight of the slate up and down the steps.

I can also tell you that owning a one-piece slate pool table has a negative impact on the overall performance of the table.

Not every slate is created equal.

This is especially true on the larger slate pieces (8′ in length).

In comparison to their one-piece counterparts, three-piece slates are typically at least 1/4 inch thicker.

Slates that are three and four pieces are made from a single piece that is sliced during the milling process.

When leveling many pieces of slate, even the most experienced mechanics must use extreme caution.

A three-piece slate that has been correctly leveled will, without a doubt, provide you with improved play.

If I had to choose between a three-piece slate and a single solid slate, I’d go with the three-piece slate. But keep in mind that no matter how much money is spent, how many slates are used, or what form of table is used, appropriate expert setup is essential to achieve the greatest possible roll.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

a link to the page’s load

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *