Billiard Table Materials

A billiard table is more than just a piece of furniture. It’s a carefully crafted instrument that combines artistry, precision, and performance. The choice of materials used in its construction significantly affects not just its visual appeal, but also its playability and longevity.

Here, we explore the different types of cloth materials used on billiard tables and how they can impact your game. From speed and spin to accuracy and control, the cloth on your billiard table can dramatically influence your playing experience.

When it comes to choosing the perfect billiard table, the playing surface material is one of the most critical decisions you’ll make. The two most common materials are slate and wood, each offering its own advantages and considerations. Let’s delve into these two options to help you decide the best fit for your billiard table needs.

Slate Billiard Tables

Slate is the industry standard for professional and high-end recreational billiard tables. It’s a type of rock that can be finely ground and polished to create a perfectly flat surface.

Pool table slate and design

Advantages of Slate

  1. Superior Playability: Slate is favored for its smoothness and consistency, offering a superior roll of the billiard balls. Its weight keeps the table stable, reducing the chance of table movement affecting gameplay.
  2. Durability: Slate is a highly durable material that’s resistant to warping. This means that with proper care, a slate billiard table can last for decades.
  3. Precision: Slate surfaces can be precision-leveled during installation, ensuring a perfectly flat playing field.

Considerations for Slate

  1. Cost: Slate tables are generally more expensive due to the material’s quality and the skill required to install and level the slate.
  2. Weight: Slate is heavy, making the table difficult to move once installed. It also means that the floor where the table is placed needs to be strong enough to support the weight.

Wood Billiard Tables

Wooden tables, often made with medium-density fiberboard (MDF), offer a more affordable option for casual players or those with budget constraints.

Pool Table Blue Cloth

Advantages of Wood

  1. Affordability: Wood or MDF tables are generally more affordable than slate tables, making them a popular choice for casual or beginner players.
  2. Lightweight: Wooden tables are lighter than slate tables, making them easier to move or reposition.

Considerations for Wood

  1. Playability: Wood or MDF does not offer the same level of smoothness or consistency as slate, which can affect the roll of the balls.
  2. Durability: Wood is more prone to warping or damage over time, especially in areas with high humidity or fluctuating temperatures.
  3. Maintenance: Wooden tables may require more frequent leveling and maintenance due to the material’s tendency to warp.


The choice between slate and wood largely depends on your priorities. If you’re a serious player looking for professional-grade playability and durability, investing in a slate table from a reputable manufacturer like Presidential Billiards would be worth considering. However, if you’re a casual player or have budget constraints, a wooden or MDF table can provide a good starting point for your billiard journey.

Remember, the material is just one factor in choosing a billiard table. The table’s design, size, and the quality of other components like the cushions and pockets also significantly impact the playing experience. No matter what you choose, ensure it aligns with your needs, budget, and the level of commitment you have towards the game.


What are the main differences between slate and wood billiard tables in terms of playability and durability?

Slate billiard tables offer superior playability due to their consistent, flat surface, ensuring accurate ball movement, and are favored in professional settings. Wood tables, while more susceptible to warping and less precise, are suitable for casual play and blend well with home decor. In terms of durability, slate tables are more robust and long-lasting, whereas wood tables require more maintenance and are prone to wear and damage over time.

How should a buyer decide between a slate and a wood billiard table based on their playing level and budget?

When choosing between a slate and wood billiard table, a buyer should consider their playing level and budget: serious players or those seeking long-term durability and professional play quality should invest in a slate table, despite its higher cost. Casual players or those with budget constraints might prefer wood tables, which are more affordable and suitable for recreational use, though they offer less precision and require more maintenance. Ultimately, the decision hinges on balancing the desire for playability and table longevity with financial considerations and the intended use of the table.

What additional factors should be considered when choosing a billiard table, apart from the material of the playing surface?

This question addresses other important aspects to consider when purchasing a billiard table, such as table design, size, and the quality of components like cushions and pockets, emphasizing that material choice is just one part of the decision-making process.

Crafting a billiard table is a work of art, a combination of meticulous craftsmanship, superior materials, and specialized techniques. The process involves a careful balance between functionality and aesthetics, resulting in a piece that is not just a game table, but a centerpiece of any room. In this post, we’ll explore the materials and techniques that go into making a high-quality billiard table, a process that we at Presidential Billiards have honed over years of experience.

Pool balls and cues

Selecting the Right Materials

The choice of materials significantly impacts both the performance and the appearance of a billiard table. Here are the key materials used in crafting these tables:


The frame, legs, and rails of a billiard table are typically made from hardwoods like oak, maple, or mahogany, selected for their strength and durability. The choice of wood also influences the table’s aesthetic appeal, with different species offering varying grains and colors.


The heart of any billiard table lies in its playing surface, usually made from slate. Chosen for its flatness and stability, a high-quality slate ensures a smooth and consistent roll of the balls. Slate for billiard tables is generally sourced from quarries, with each piece meticulously inspected for imperfections.


The slate is covered with a specialized billiard cloth, often made from a blend of wool and nylon. The cloth’s quality can significantly impact gameplay, with higher-quality cloths providing a smoother and faster roll.

Rubber Cushions

The cushions, or bumpers, on the rails are usually made from synthetic materials such as vulcanized rubber. These cushions ensure that the balls rebound at consistent angles, a crucial aspect of gameplay.

Pool table pockets - Presidential Billiards

Employing Expert Techniques

Crafting a billiard table is as much about technique as it is about materials. Here are some of the key techniques involved:


Quality craftsmanship is paramount in constructing a stable and durable billiard table. Techniques such as mortise and tenon joinery, known for their strength, are often used to assemble the table frame and legs.

Slate Leveling

Ensuring the slate is perfectly flat and level is crucial for a fair game. This process often involves using precision leveling tools and filling the seams between slate pieces with a special compound.

Cloth Stretching

When covering the slate with the billiard cloth, the cloth must be stretched tightly and evenly to ensure a smooth playing surface. This process requires careful technique to avoid wrinkles or loose areas.

Cushion Attachment

Attaching the cushions to the rails requires precision to ensure consistent ball rebound. The cushions are typically glued and then bolted to the rails, with careful attention paid to the alignment.


The art of crafting a billiard table is a testament to the blend of materials and techniques honed over centuries. Each table is the culmination of careful selection of materials and precision techniques that result in a game table offering unrivaled gameplay and aesthetic appeal.

At Presidential Billiards, we take pride in maintaining these traditions, using the finest materials and expert techniques to craft tables that stand the test of time. Explore our range of professionally crafted billiard tables today, and discover the difference that quality craftsmanship can make to your game.


What materials are considered essential in the crafting of high-quality billiard tables, and how do they contribute to the table's functionality and appearance?

High-quality billiard tables typically feature slate for the playing surface, known for its flatness and consistency, ensuring accurate ball movement. The frame and legs are often made of solid hardwoods like oak or mahogany, providing stability, durability, and an elegant appearance. Quality felt, usually wool or a wool-nylon blend, covers the slate, offering a smooth surface for the balls to roll on and contributing to the table’s overall aesthetic appeal. These materials, chosen for their functionality and appearance, work together to create a table that not only plays well but also serves as a visually appealing piece of furniture.

What specialized techniques are employed in the construction of a billiard table to ensure its stability, durability, and precision?

This FAQ can delve into the specific techniques such as joinery, slate leveling, cloth stretching, and cushion attachment, discussing their importance in crafting a billiard table that meets professional standards.

How does the combination of quality materials and expert craftsmanship impact the overall gaming experience on a billiard table?

In constructing a billiard table, specialized techniques ensure stability, durability, and precision: the use of a heavy, solid wood or metal frame provides a stable base, preventing wobbling during play. Precision leveling is employed, often with a machined slate bed, to guarantee a perfectly flat playing surface for accurate ball movement. Reinforced joints and high-quality adhesives are used in the assembly to enhance durability, ensuring that the table withstands regular use and maintains its form over time. These construction techniques are crucial for creating a table that not only performs well but also lasts for years.

A billiard table is more than just a gaming platform; it’s a statement piece, a display of fine craftsmanship and an investment in entertainment. The choice of wood used in its construction plays a critical role not only in the table’s aesthetics but also its durability and overall quality. In this article, we’ll delve into some of the best woods for billiard table construction and why they’re favored in the industry.


Oak is one of the most commonly used woods in billiard table construction due to its strength, durability, and attractive grain. Its dense nature ensures that it can withstand the rigors of play while retaining its structural integrity.

Advantages of Oak:

  1. Durability: Oak is a hard, heavy wood that is known for its strength and long-lasting nature. This makes it an ideal choice for the wear and tear that a billiard table may experience.
  2. Aesthetics: Oak has a pronounced grain, which gives each table a unique, natural look. It can be stained in a variety of colors, making it a versatile choice for different interior designs.
Oak wood for pool table
Maple wood slate for pool table


Maple is another excellent choice for billiard tables. It’s a hard, resilient wood that can stand up to intense gameplay, and it offers a more subtle grain than oak, making it ideal for those who prefer a smoother, more consistent look.

Advantages of Maple:

  1. Durability: Maple is a dense, hard wood that offers exceptional durability. This makes it resistant to scratches and dents, ensuring that the table maintains its appearance over time.
  2. Uniformity: Maple has a fine, consistent grain that offers a smooth and uniform appearance. It can be stained in a variety of colors, allowing for customization based on personal preference.


Mahogany is a top choice for high-end billiard tables. It’s a hardwood that’s known for its beauty, durability, and rich, warm color. Mahogany billiard tables often feature intricate designs and carvings, showcasing the craftsmanship involved in their creation.

Advantages of Mahogany:

  1. Aesthetics: Mahogany has a deep, rich color and straight grain that is highly desirable. It polishes to a high shine, enhancing its natural beauty.
  2. Stability: Mahogany is less prone to warping and shrinking compared to many other woods. This stability makes it a great choice for billiard tables, where a consistent, flat surface is critical for gameplay.
Mahogany wood for pool table

Choosing the Right Wood

When choosing the best wood for a billiard table, it’s important to consider several factors. Durability and resistance to wear and tear are crucial, as the table will need to withstand the impact of billiard balls over time. The wood’s aesthetics and how well it fits with your décor is another important consideration.

At Presidential Billiards, we understand the importance of choosing the right wood for your billiard table. That’s why we offer a range of options, including oak, maple, and mahogany tables, to ensure that you can find the perfect table for your needs. Our commitment to quality craftsmanship and materials ensures that whichever wood you choose, you’ll be investing in a billiard table that will provide years of enjoyment. Explore our range today and discover the difference quality wood can make.

When it comes to the game of billiards, every component of the table plays a crucial role in the playing experience. One such component that significantly influences gameplay is the cloth, also known as felt, that covers the playing surface. The type and quality of the cloth can affect the speed, spin, and overall control of the billiard balls. In this article, we’ll explore different types of cloth materials and how they can impact your game.

Types of Billiard Cloth

The two most common types of billiard cloth are woolen and worsted. Both have distinct characteristics that influence the gameplay.

Woolen Cloth

Woolen cloth, also known as “napped” cloth, is the traditional choice for billiard tables. It is characterized by a fuzzy surface that’s created by short fibers sticking up from the cloth.

Advantages of Woolen Cloth:

  1. Durability: Woolen cloth is known for its durability, often lasting longer than worsted cloth when properly maintained.
  2. Slower Speed: The nap of the woolen cloth creates more friction, slowing down the balls. This can be an advantage for beginners who are still learning control.

Considerations for Woolen Cloth:

  1. Maintenance: Woolen cloth requires more maintenance. The nap needs to be brushed regularly to keep it smooth and clean.
  2. Inconsistent Roll: Over time, the nap can wear down in commonly used areas, leading to an inconsistent roll.
Carter pool table in living room

Worsted Cloth

Worsted cloth, often referred to as “speed” cloth, is a high-quality cloth that’s used in professional and high-end recreational billiard tables. It’s made from combed wool yarn, creating a smooth and even surface.

Advantages of Worsted Cloth:

  1. Faster Speed: The smooth surface of worsted cloth reduces friction, allowing the balls to roll faster and further. This can add an extra level of challenge and precision to the game.
  2. Consistent Roll: The uniform surface of worsted cloth provides a consistent roll, which is why it’s favored in professional tournaments.

Considerations for Worsted Cloth:

  1. Cost: Worsted cloth is generally more expensive than woolen cloth due to the higher quality material and manufacturing process.
  2. Durability: While worsted cloth provides a superior playing experience, it may not last as long as woolen cloth and may require more frequent replacement.
Grant Pool Table

How Cloth Material Impacts Your Game

The type of cloth you choose for your billiard table can have a significant impact on your game.

  1. Speed: Worsted cloth provides a faster game, which can be beneficial for advanced players looking for a challenging and fast-paced game. Woolen cloth, on the other hand, provides a slower game that can be advantageous for beginners.
  2. Control: The smooth surface of worsted cloth allows for greater control of spin and cue ball positioning. However, the slower roll of woolen cloth can also provide beginners with more manageable control as they learn the game.
  3. Consistency: For a consistent roll, worsted cloth is the superior choice. However, with proper care and maintenance, woolen cloth can also provide a reliable playing surface.
Man playing pool


Understanding the type and impact of billiard cloth on your game can help you make an informed decision when choosing or maintaining your billiard table. Whether you prefer the traditional feel of woolen cloth or the professional-grade performance of worsted cloth, ensure to pair it with quality care and maintenance for the best playing experience.

At Presidential Billiards, we offer a range of high-quality billiard tables with both woolen and worsted cloth options. Explore our collection today


Why is the choice of cloth material important for a billiard table?

The cloth material on a billiard table significantly affects the game’s speed, spin, and overall control of the billiard balls, influencing the playing experience.

What are the two main types of billiard cloth?

The two main types are woolen (napped) cloth and worsted cloth, each with distinct characteristics that influence gameplay.

What are the advantages of woolen cloth for billiard tables?

Woolen cloth is durable, often lasting longer than worsted cloth with proper maintenance. It also provides a slower speed due to more friction, beneficial for beginners.

What should be considered when choosing woolen cloth?

Woolen cloth requires regular maintenance to keep the nap smooth and can lead to inconsistent roll over time due to wear in commonly used areas.