Slate Pool Tables VS. Non-Slate
When it comes to the overall quality of a pool table , having a slate table is really the way to go!
What is slate ?
Pool table slate ( the playing surface) or what the felt top is wrapped around. It is solid piece/pieces of rock made up of minerals such as mica and quartz. Pool table slate normally weighs approximately 500lbs for an 8ft pool table and weight can vary somewhat depending on the size of billiard table. Pool Table slate is commonly a grayish color.The slate thickness varies from 3/4" up to 2", the most commonly used thickness being 3/4" and 1". Billiard tables ( carom tables aka Carombola) will usually be the models with a 2" slate.
Why buy a slate pool table over Non-slate/artificial slate table?
1. A slate playing surface on a pool table typically will not warp, as opposed to a non slate playing surface which is made of MDF ( medium density fiberboard) or compressed wood.
2. Slate offers a very strong and smooth playing surface, and non slate no so much. Think of driving a car down a paved road Vs. a dirt road, the experience will certainly be different.
3. A slate pool table can be refelted as many times as needed. The felt is typically spray glued to the playing surface. If the playing surface is slate, you can remove and replace the felt after it is worn or if you decide to change the color. With a non-slate pool table, If you try to remove the felt top after it has been spray glued to the compressed wood, you will likely pull some of the non-slate playing surface apart as well. Although some Non slate pool tables can be refelted, Most of them cannot. You might buy a non-slate pool table for the cheaper price, but understand that once the felt is worn you basically need a new pool table.
Most pool tables today will have a 3 piece slate, be it a modern or traditional pool table. Pool tables that have a 1 piece slate tend to be from the 80's era or before. You will also see 1 piece slates on coin operated tables. 1 piece slate may be a little easier to level but certainly a lot heavier to move. A good pool table installer will able to level a 3 piece slate with perfection!
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