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Top 4 Signs Your Pool Table Felt Needs to Be Replaced

Updated: Aug 21, 2023

Grey pool table with black felt and text that says, "Top 4 Signs Your Pool Table Felt Needs to Be Replaced."

Pool tables are made of sturdy, quality materials and are designed to last a long time. However, the felt on your pool table can easily wear out over time and with regular use. Proper maintenance is key, but even with good care, pool table felt will eventually need to be replaced.

If you've had your pool table for a few years and use it often, it may be time to check in on the condition of the felt and see if it needs a replacement. There are a few tell-tale signs that you can check for to see if a replacement is needed soon. Learn what to look for and what to do to keep your pool table in its best condition.

Signs Your Pool Table Felt Needs Replacing

Replacing the felt on your pool table can revitalize the look and gameplay of the table. But how do you know when a replacement is necessary? These four signs are the first things to watch for to know if your pool table felt is ready for replacement.

1. Obvious Visible Damage

If there is damage and wear and tear to your pool table felt that's easily visible, there's no question — it's definitely time to replace. Accidents can happen, like missing a shot, but these accidents can damage the felt over time. If you can see deep scratches, cuts or worn areas, it can affect the play of the game and should be fixed right away.

2. Balls Getting Caught or Pocket-Catching

If you notice that balls are getting caught up by scratches and worn-out spots on the table, or other ways that your gameplay is affected, it's time to fix the felt. The balls should be able to move smoothly and freely around the table. Scratches and cuts in the cloth can cause the balls to skip or be redirected while in play.

Additionally, worn-out felt near the pockets can affect the gameplay. If this is the case, you may find that you need to play with more finesse to get the balls into the pockets.

Even if you don't have visible damage, if something seems off with the way the balls roll on the table or go into the pockets, it's worth looking into getting it fixed.

3. Loose Felt

The felt on a pool table may become loose for a variety of reasons, including moisture damage, normal wear and tear from gameplay, accidents and more. Loose felt can appear in a variety of areas on the table since the felt is attached to the slate, cushions and rails. The felt should be firmly attached in all areas, and you can check yours just by pressing your hand on the table. If it feels loose or moves or bunches up when touched, it should be replaced.

4. Worn-Out Felt

Over time, it's natural for pool table felt to simply get worn out, especially if the table is played often or is not well protected. Felt is bound to get thinner with use and may start to fade with time. As a result, the felt can become more prone to scratches and tears, causing further damage. Check your table felt to see if it feels bristly or stubbly. If it feels like beard stubble on your hand, or if you're noticing fuzz and lint on the table, you know your felt is too worn out.

When to Re-Felt a Pool Table

The great news about owning your own pool table is that they generally don't require very much maintenance beyond the felt itself. Quality pool tables are made from slate, a sturdy material that can last for years and years. Even so, the slate is covered in a cloth material that will wear out over time and eventually need a replacement. Note that you should not attempt to replace the felt on your pool table yourself — contact the professionals to complete the job.

How often is pool table felt typically replaced? It can depend on how often the table is used and how well it is taken care of. If the pool table sees daily or almost daily use, you can expect to replace the felt about every 3-5 years. If the pool table is not used frequently and is stored properly, the felt will last much longer, perhaps as long as 10 years before needing a replacement.

Preventative Maintenance

Eventually, any pool table will need a felt replacement after regular use. You can prolong the life of your table felt and keep your pool table in excellent condition by following these maintenance tips:

  • Cover the table: When you're not using the pool table, keep it protected with a cover. This can help prevent fading due to sunlight, dust buildup and scratches from accidents.

  • Keep the felt clean: After play, use a brush to gently remove dust and chalk.

  • Avoid trick shots: Scoop shots and other creative and trick shots can scratch the felt and wear it out more quickly.

  • Don't allow food and drink on the table: Spills and sticky residues from food will damage the felt and create unnecessary messes.

  • Keep balls clean: Dirt buildup on pool balls will transfer to the felt. Clean billiard balls regularly to help protect your pool table.

  • Don't chalk over the table: When you need to chalk your cue, do so away from the table to avoid chalk dust settling into the felt.

  • Don't put anything on the table: It may be tempting if you don't use your pool table as often, but don't store items on top of the table. It's also important to keep pets away from the table to avoid unnecessary wear and tear.

Shop Pool Tables and Table Felt From HB Home

Taking good care of your pool table is the best way to prolong the life of the felt. If it's time for a replacement, shop pool table felt options at HB Home. Our high-quality pool table felt is available in a wide range of colors so you can find the right one for your décor and preferences.

If you're ready for a new pool table, we've got you covered there too. Shop our selection of new pool tables to find the perfect style for your home.

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