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Billiard Tables

A billiard table differs in size depending upon the game it was designed for.

A standard pool table is also known as a pocket billiard table. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
A standard pool table is also known as a pocket billiard table.

Billiard Tables

Billiard tables have been around since 1470 when King Louis XI commissioned the construction of the first. This first billiard table was made of stone and had a single hole in the center. Over the years, billiard tables have evolved into beautiful pieces of furniture crafted from some of the finest materials in the world. They can be used as a handsome showpiece or as a fun centerpiece in any home.

Types of Billiard Tables

There are different types of billiard tables for various billiard games. The three main types of billiard tables are carom tables, pocket billiards tables (or pool tables) and snooker tables. Carom tables are tables without pockets that range from five to ten feet and are used for carom billiards, a special game that only requires three balls, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Pocket billiard tables are usually nine feet long, but can be slightly smaller or larger, and have six pockets for balls. At twelve feet long, snooker tables are much larger. Like pocket billiard tables, they also have six pockets but they're much narrower. In the United States, pocket billiard tables (or pool tables) are the most common.

Choosing a Billiard Table

When choosing a billiard table, consumers should consider a number of factors. They should think about where they will put the billiard table, who will use it, what materials they prefer and how much room is available. Most billiard tables range from seven to nine feet long. In addition to the actual size of the table, room needs to be available for cue stick clearance around the table. Billiard tables are generally made from one of three types of materials:

  • Mica laminate billiard tables are the least expensive. They lack the styling of more expensive tables and come in only limited colors.
  • Veneer laminate billiard tables have a layer of laminate, which covers a piece of wood. They can be stained, so buyers can select a wood color of their choice.
  • Solid wood billiard tables are the highest quality and the most expensive.

Where to Put Billiard Tables

Choosing the right location for a billiard table can help protect and preserve it for years to come. Storing billiard tables in the proper place will keep them in good shape and free from fading, cracking or dulling. According to Billiards Digest, owners should choose a place for the pool table that is out of direct sunlight. Over time, sunlight will fade the cloth and bleach the tables finish. For players who prefer to play the game in natural light, consider window glass with a film to protect the table from UV rays. Shutters and blinds are other alternatives to keep sunlight from hitting the table.

Billiard tables are also very sensitive to dry air. In dry climates or during harsh winter months, owners should consider buying a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Billiard tables will be best preserved in rooms with a humidity level of 40 to 60 percent. It is also important to put a billiard table in a room that is large enough to hold the table and give players room to shoot. Choosing a large room out of direct sunlight with plenty of moisture is the best option.

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