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.