Making a decision on which pool table to buy for your games room for an upgrade or addition can be very hectic. You can go through different reviews on buying the best pool table but still have unanswered questions. Before making that final decision you need to know the difference between a wood and slate pool table.
For pool balls to roll straight and true to the desired points on the table, you need a straight and extremely flat table bed. The table bed is what is under the cloth otherwise known as the felt. Different board makers use different materials when making the bed. Some use slate which is the most preferable according to purists while others use wood and synthetic materials (MDF).
We will thoroughly look at the clear advantages and disadvantages of these two types of table beds to help you make that final decision.
Wood Bed Tables
As the name suggests these are table beds made from wood. Many people like them because of their budget friendliness and their weight as they can be moved around easily. You will get different results depending on the type of wood that is used. For well matured hard woods, you will get an awesome table that will serve you perfectly for ages.
- Small Sized Tables – Many beginners and kids who want to enjoy the games and learn more want a table they can easily access and move around. Wood table beds makes these possible as there are many options to choose from. You can get a small, movable wood/MDF table to suit your budget at all times.
- Weight – You can easily dismantle, transport and assemble a wooden pool table due to its light weight. If you do not like the position of your table, you can easily move it around too making it a great choice for home game rooms.
- Price- Most wood bed pool tables are built using the MDF bed which is a far cheaper material. The price is transferred to the overall price of the table making wood tables a major preference among people who have a stretched budget.
- Warping – Over time, the wood/MDF beds warp giving the table points of uneven surface. The warping is accelerated by storing the table in humid places. It is also cause by temperature fluctuations from time to time. This is the most common disadvantage among the wood table beds.
- Game Play– If you are used to playing on slate, you will get a different feeling when playing on wood as it is a bit slower. Irrespective of what the manufacturer or marketer says, you will still get to feel the difference on the ball control.
- Liquid – Accidental spills can happen anytime in the game room from drinks or a leaking room. The wood/MDF bed absorbs the liquids which greatly affects the trueness of the playing surface.
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Slate Bed Tables
These beds are made from slate rocks that are made up of many minerals including quartz, mica and clay with a very fine grain. There are tables that are made of one slab of slate while others are made of up to three or four slabs. Three or four slabs are most preferable as they can be leveled to precision easily. The thickness of the slate is also a great consideration for many pool enthusiasts. The thicker the slate the better as it remains flat over a long time. The most ideal thickness is two inches and the least should be one inch. The thickness of the slate determines many things including the price and the strength of the table framework that is going to hold it.
- Warping – Slate remains flat over the years will regular maintenance. The only time it will warp is when hit with a hard surface. Slate is not affected by temperature or changes in the humidity of the game room. You just need to change and clean the felt over time and the slate will remain in its original state.
- Game Play – You will get the real deal every time you play on a slate bed. The slate table bed is flat and level giving the true surface for maximum ball control and excellent straight shots. All major 8 all and 9 ball tournaments and pool leagues prefer and use the slate bed tables for this reason.
- Weight– Slate is heavy and it requires a strong table frame to hold it in place. The weight of the slate increased the overall weight of the table making it very hard to move around. Slate tables are most preferable for permanent game rooms. The thicker the slate the heavier the table.
- Cost – Slate costs more to source and shape compared to wood or MDF as it has to be naturally sourced. The overall effect is that the price of the slate pool table is higher than all the other materials. Due to its weight, moving the table will also cost you a little more compared to the other tables made from different materials.
Slate vs Wood Pool Table Conclusion
Every person has their preferences depending on their budget and purpose of the table they want to buy. If you need a portable table or a table that you can easily move around to create space possibly a fold-able one, then a wood/MDF table will fit you perfectly. However, if you need a more permanent pool table similar to the ones you play in bars and pool halls then go for the slate pool table. Let price not be a limit of what you want, let features, and suitability of the table lead you when buying.
Where To Buy Pool Table
You will get very nice and durable wood and slate pool tables on Amazon. You can also read our guide on choosing the best pool table and buy from our recommendations.