How to Refelt a Pool Table in 10 Easy Steps
Is your pool table at home starting to get worn out? We know just what you mean.
Over time, the felt of your pool table felt can become torn, damaged, and uneven due to the impact from the balls and the cues as well as other factors.
Now, you can hire professionals for pool table refelting OR you can also do this project on your own as a LOW-COST OPTION. Just read our guide below to find out how to re-felt a pool table in 10 steps!
Refelting Pool Tables: A Step-by-Step Guide
Before refelting a pool table, make sure you have all the necessary tools and equipment on site.
Because there are plenty of steps in this process, it’s a good idea to ORGANIZE everything first. This prevents any unwanted delays, mistakes, or accidents down the line.
If you don’t have much experience using these tools, we recommend trying them out ahead of time.
Get information from professionals or search up articles with pictures on a reliable website so that you understand how to operate them safely and properly.
Lastly, go over the instructions below very carefully so you have a clear idea of the many things you have to do.
Materials Needed for Felt Replacement
- Felt for pool tables
- Staple gun and staples
- Staple remover
- Screwdriver or wrench
- Glue and sealing wax
- Utility knife
- Measuring tape
- Rubber mallet
- Wooden block
Instructions for Refelting a Pool Table
Step 1: Disassemble the Pool Table
The first step is to take apart your pool table on site. Sounds tedious, but don’t worry!
That’s why we made sure to outline each step thoroughly.
Take note: This process varies per pool table type and brand, but generally, you have to SEPARATE the rails from the frame and the featherstrip from each rail.
Using a screwdriver or a wrench, carefully remove the screws or bolts that are holding the pool table cushions in place. MAKE SURE to bag them up after removal.
It would be a nightmare if you lose those pieces.
Step 2: Remove the Old Pool Table Felt
- Pull out the staples attaching the OLD FELT to the rail. Exercise caution while doing this—the staples are very sharp!
- Before you set aside the rails, mark them and TAKE PICTURES so you know which piece goes on which side of the table. If you mix up the positions of the cushions, the refelting won’t be done properly.
- To remove the felt on the pool table, repeat the same process above. If the felt was stuck to the surface with glue instead of staples, simply start RIPPING it off at one corner of the pool table.
- After the felt removal, scrape off any pieces of hardened glue that remain on the surface.
Step 3: Clean the Pool Table Slate
- Once you’ve removed the old felt, you should now see the pool table’s slate.
- Over a long period of time, dust can gather here, so you should clean it properly BEFORE covering the pool table again with cloth.
- Wipe the whole surface down with a dry cloth to remove dirt and dust particles.
- NEVER use any liquid cleaners or sprays on the slate, as this can degrade the quality and condition of the material.
Step 4: Measure the Pool Table
- Using a measuring tape, check the size and dimensions of your pool table so you know how much felt to use. Always add in a few extra inches just in case you make a mistake!
- BEFORE BUYING the felt replacement, make sure that it looks new and feels smooth. You don’t want any bumps, wrinkles, or creases, as these could negatively affect gameplay.
- Ideally, you should pick a felt replacement made of high-quality worsted wool for your table; if this doesn’t fall within your price range, though, Teflon felt or napped felt are still quality, low-cost options too.
Step 5: Cut the Pool Table Felt
- Cut the felt according to your pool table measurements, but remember to set aside cloth to cover each rail.
- Make sure you mark which side of the cloth is face-up too; if you refelt with the WRONG side up, you’ll have to repeat the process all over again.
- Another option is to buy a pre-cut felt kit that’s made for your specific pool table.
Step 6: Level the Pool Table
- Once that’s done, you can now make any necessary adjustments to the pool table.
- With a leveler, check if everything is balanced. If not, put shims under the legs of the table or under a specific part of the slate to raise the height of the pool table.
- Adjust the table more until completely level.
Step 7: Refelt the Pool Table Rails
- To refelt the rails, put the cloth face-down over the rail. Keep at least 4 INCHES or more of felt overhang and AROUND 1-INCH of excess felt over the feather strip space.
- Get the featherstrip you disassembled in Step 1 and place it back into position.
- Stretch the felt until it is taut, put a tapping block over the featherstrip, and start hammering it down with your mallet.
- Stop about 2 inches from each end, as these are where the pockets will be.
Step 8: Refelt the Pool Table Surface
- If you want to staple the felt to the pool table, grab your stapler or staple gun.
- Lay the felt on top of the table; pull it until it’s fully stretched, and begin stapling from the head end.
- You can ask for assistance during this part of the process so that it’s not hard to stretch the felt and staple at the same time.
- When stapling, START at the center before working your way to both ends of the table. Keep pulling the felt so that it’s free from any creases or wrinkles.
- Once you reach the pockets, cut three slits so you can wrap the felt inside and staple it in place.
- If you want to use the glue method, clean the entirety of the pool table first with a dry cloth.
- Again, make sure there are NO HARDENED PIECES of glue still stuck to the table, as these will interfere with the pool table refelting.
- Next, apply the glue all over the table and carefully place the felt over it.
- Stretch the felt and cut off any excess at each end.
- Lastly, make some cuts at the edge so you can fold the felt into the pockets. Glue this into place.
Step 9: Reattach the Rails
Now that all the pockets are done, it’s time to reattach the rails to the table.
- Line up the holes with the rails
- Bolt them in place.
- Once you’re sure they’re positioned properly on the table, you can tighten them all the way.
Step 10: Install New Pocket Liners
The last step is to put in the NEW pocket liners.
- Just place the liner into the pocket and mark it for cutting.
- Use a utility knife to trim them down so they fit your pool table pockets perfectly.
- Then, fasten each one in place.
That’s it! You now know how to refelt a pool table by yourself at home.
Is It Difficult to Refelt Pool Tables?
If you’re quite handy with fabric, you’ll probably find that refelting a pool table is fairly simple! The best part is, it’s low-cost as well!
However, refelting a pool table still takes time, effort, and patience on your part, especially if you don’t have much experience in the field.
It helps if you try to read and understand this guide to the best of your abilities, but it can still be difficult to put it into action.
If you feel like this is too complicated for you, you can always opt to hire a professional instead. You’ll have to pay a HIGHER PRICE of course, but it’s a fair cost if you know you can’t handle it by yourself.
Plus, you can trust that you’re getting quality service too!
How Long Does It Take to Refelt Pool Tables?
Generally, it takes around two to three hours for a professional to refelt a pool table (one if he’s very, very efficient).
If you’re a beginner, expect to spend more time refelting a pool table—maybe even one whole day.
This is why it’s important to prepare everything beforehand. If you’re very organized from the get-go, the process will be a lot quicker and smoother too!
How Often Should You Replace Pool Table Felt?
When you start to notice that the felt of your pool table is affecting players’ gameplay, it may be time to get a replacement.
Physical signs of damage such as cuts, tears, or folds on the felt may also indicate it’s time for pool table maintenance and/or refurbishment.
ONE TIP to prevent frequent felt replacements is to invest in high-quality felt from the very beginning, especially if you play pool a lot at home.
It may cost more upfront, but it’ll save you a lot on repairs down the road.
How Much Does Pool Table Refelting Cost?
- If you hire a professional to refelt your pool table, it can cost around $300 to $600, not including the price of a pool table felt.
- If you need to move your table to a different location, it’ll cost around $200 more. Other factors that can hike up the price include the size, weight, and condition of your table.
- If you plan to DIY it, you’ll just have to pay for the cost of the pool table felt, tools, and other necessary materials for refelting.
- If you already have most of the equipment at home, then you won’t have to shell out a lot of money for the project.
Keep in mind that the felt for the table can be pretty expensive, depending on the one you choose.
Pros use NCAA professional-grade felt for their tables, which goes for a whopping $1000, but prices for a regular table are just around $100 to $400.
A subpar playing surface often disrupts the flow of games. This affects the way the balls roll around the pool table, and it doesn’t look very pleasing to the eye either.
Lucky for you, you now have the knowledge and skills to refelt a pool table!
Did this guide help you learn how to refelt pool tables? Do let us know if you try it out, and send us pictures of the finished product!
Good luck with your project!