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What Are Pool Tables Made Of?

Updated: Feb 14


What are Pool Tables Made Of?

When you hear the phrase "pool table," you probably picture a big, bulky, wooden table with green felt covering the top. But what you may not think about or even realize is that pool tables have evolved and have a more excellent look now. You also might not think about the maintenance and upkeep of a pool table. You might not think about what makes up that pool table and what you need to do to care for it.


If you're an owner of a pool table or are thinking of adding one to your home, dive into the world of pool tables and what makes them up. And check out HB Home Furnishings for a variety of pool tables!

  1. Corner pockets: This is pretty self-explanatory, but these are the pockets in each corner on top of the table

  2. Cushion: Think of rails. The cushion is the felt-covered interior of the sides.

  3. Playing surface: This would be the top of the table, where the felt is. This is where all of the games will take place.

  4. Side pockets: These would be the other two pockets, as we've already discussed the corner pockets.

  5. Frame: The pool table frame is the structure of the pool table. It is usually made up of solid wood or aluminum.

The five pool table elements listed above are placed on top of table legs to create a pool table. In addition to providing structural support, a pool table's legs can be the most visually striking part of the table's design. Many high-end pool tables have legs constructed from rich wooden materials with fine details etched into them.

Pool Table Terminology

If you're looking to purchase your first pool table, aren't very familiar with the game's terminology, or want to get more serious about your game, check out this list of things you'll want to know before you start playing.


  1. Rack: When playing pool, there's a triangular object where you'll place all the balls to line them up to start the game.

  2. Apex of the triangle: This is the top of that rack. Make sure you pay attention, as some games/gameplays require you to place a particular ball in this spot.

  3. Break: When you rack the balls, you'll hit the cue ball into the rack. This is called breaking.

  4. Cue ball: This is the plain white ball that you'll use to hit the others into the pockets.

  5. Center spot: This is the dead center of the pool table.

  6. Center string: This imaginary line is a reference point and runs between the two side pockets and the center spot.

  7. Diamonds: These are markings on the rails that are used as reference points or targets. You can check out the diamond approach for advanced players, which is a mathematical approach to taking shots.

  8. Foot of the table: This is the end of the table where you rack the balls.

  9. Foot spot: This is commonly referenced in-game instructions, so you'll want to locate this spot on your table. It is on the foot end of the table and lines up with the second diamond on the long rails and the center diamond on the short rail.

  10. Foot string: This imaginary line lines up with the second diamond on the long rails. It runs through the foot spot.

  11. Head of the table: This end will be opposite the foot of the table. You can tell the difference between the head and the foot by the manufacturer's plate. It is usually placed on the head of the table.

  12. Head spot: This spot lines up the same as the foot spot, just on the opposite side of the table.

  13. Head string: Again, this is the same as the foot string, but on the head side of the table. This is where you'll break from.

There is still a ton more to learn, but this list of terms will help get you going on playing and understanding the game of pool.


Modern pool table with light teal felt


Why Are Pool Tables Made of Slate?

Pool tables have been along for hundreds and hundreds of years, with the first one being made in the 1800s. At the time, pool tables were made of wood. A man named John Thurston grew annoyed with these wooden tables because the surface was difficult to play on and the wood was rot and warp, which would ruin the table completely.


As an alternative, Thurston invented the slate top pool table. He wanted a material that wouldn't warp, created a smoother playing surface, wasn't too expensive and was easy to find. And slate seemed to be the only one that met all of these, which is still used to make pool tables today.


What is Slate?

Slate is a rock made of several minerals, such as quartz and clay, which are finely-grained and can be cut into tiny slivers. Because slate can be made so small, it can be placed together and sanded to create a smooth, level surface, perfect for a pool table. The smooth playing surface created by slate minimizes the risk of any minuscule chips or divots interfering with your pool game.


Choosing the Right Pool Table for You

You may think that pool tables are made pretty standard, but there are several different styles. This will help you find one that fits the aesthetic of your home.


Aiden: This pool table is contemporary and modern. Choose this pool table if you want your home to maintain a sleek and minimalistic aesthetic.

Esterno: This waterproof pool table can convert into a dining table or table tennis. If your family likes all kinds of games, they'll love this convertible pool table. And as a weather-resistant option, this pool table is the perfect pick for enjoying a pool game outdoors in your home's exterior living space.

Shelton: This modern table features a glacier finish with black felt. This pool table design keeps it classy with a simple, eye-catching design. Choose this pool table if you want to make a statement without being too flashy.

Tuscany: With a charcoal finish, leather pockets, black felt and metal coin rail sights, this pool table has it all. This design expertly blends elements of modern design with classic pastoral characteristics. This style of pool table is the perfect finishing touch for a Tuscan-style home.

Elton: This pool table is very mid-century and made from solid walnut. The natural look of this pool table makes it well-suited for any home with a soft, earthy color scheme.

Apex: This modern pool table gives the aesthetic of natural wood with a charcoal finish. The angled legs featured in this pool table design allow plenty of room to walk around the pool table, making it an excellent choice for smaller spaces.

Telluride: If you're looking for a charming, rustic look, this is the pool table for you. The solid pine materials used to craft this pool table make it the perfect centerpiece for a modern farmhouse or any chic country home.

Blake: This pool table is a contemporary masterpiece finished on pine. You will certainly want to showcase this pool table in your home if your house features plenty of natural lighting with wooden floors or brick details.

Canton: Choose this pool table if you want to create an elegant and sophisticated look. This pool table can elevate any atmosphere with its stunning diamond sights, bold notches, and intricate leg details.

Baxter: This pool table features a more subtle design with a nut-brown finish. A pool table like this can fit seamlessly into any interior design layout, making it an all-around solid selection for any home.

As you can see, there is a pool table styled to fit into any and every kind of home. Review the types of pool tables listed above to help determine which one would complement your home's style the best.


Find Your Pool Table at HB Home Furnishings


White pool table with deep blue felt

HB Home Furnishings would love to help you find the pool table for you! We offer free shipping on online purchases and free professional installation. Once you've checked out, we'll contact you with a questionnaire about your home so we can assign the perfect installer for your home. Check out our pool tables today!





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