Pool Tables Installation: A Step-by-Step Guide
Did you know a pool table purchase doesn’t typically include free professional installation services?
But why should that worry you when you’ve got us to help you out! We’ve done our fair share back in the day.
Assembling a billiards table seems like complicated work that should be left up to professionals with more experience, but any person can actually do it on his own!
Keep reading to know more about billiards table assembly.
Materials Needed for Billiard Table Assembly
Before unpacking all the pool table parts and beginning work at the location, make sure you have the following tools and materials for a smooth, easy, and safe installation process.
- Phillips and flat head screwdriver
- Hammer and nails
- Measuring tape
- Paint scraper
- Utility knife
- Beeswax or putty
- Felt/Pool table cloth
- Billiard table parts
#1 – Get Help
Although you can definitely perform the billiard table installation on your own, the work will be much easier if there’s more than one person to help with the set-up.
Remember, the pool table pieces are quite bulky and heavy, so you’ll have to exert more effort putting together different parts on your own.
You should also expect to spend AT LEAST 2 HOURS or more on pool table assembly.
#2- Check All of the Components
When the pool table pieces are delivered to your location, make sure to check the items are complete.
Running from 1 location to another is a waste of time, gas, and it’s downright exhausting.
Typically, your purchase should include the following:
- A long box for the pool table frame
- A tall box for the pool table legs
- A flat box for the rails
- An accessory kit
- Felt for the table
Depending on the brand you bought from, it may come with more accessories as well.
#3- Follow the Procedures Properly
We also recommend going over the next instructions carefully and thoroughly before starting any work.
Because this is usually done by professionals, it’s important that you understand the directions clearly to prevent any accidents or errors.
For added protection, wear safety goggles while operating any of the high-powered tools above.
Instructions for Pool Table Assembly
Do you have all the equipment you need with you? Let’s get started!
#1 – Selecting the Pool Table Location
- First, determine where you want to position the pool table in your room.
- Don’t just account for the size of the table when choosing a location; make sure to leave excess space on all sides too so that players can move around more while playing.
- Although the exact measurements depend on the size and length of your cues, AROUND 5 FEET of space all around should be sufficient for comfort. More space is better if possible, of course!
- Now, if your recreational room is already filled with different kinds of game tables, don’t be tempted to pack in the pool table, especially if it will be a tight fit.
- It’s best to disassemble one or more of the tables (preferably those you use the least) so that you’ll have a more enjoyable experience playing pool.
#2 – Unpacking the Pool Table Pieces
- Next, using your scissors, remove the packaging of the pool table pieces.
- SEPARATE larger wood parts such as the frame, legs, and hardware from the smaller pieces like the nuts and bolts.
- Double-check the user manual to see if you’re missing any pool table components—you don’t want to go looking for something in the middle of installation!
- Set aside the boxes so you have a big, clean space to work with.
#3 – Building the Table Frame
Now, it’s time to build the pool table frame.
- Place the frame upside down on the designated location.
- If yours doesn’t come pre-assembled, you may have to put together some panels and other frameworks. Just make sure to follow the instructions in the manual for this!
- Using your screwdriver, affix (attach) the legs and leg supports to all FOUR corners of the table.
- After attaching the legs, check to see if they wobble or move around. MAKE SURE the legs are completely stable before turning the table right side up.
#4 – Placing the Slates on the Table
- Before putting the slates on the table, use a leveler to check if the table and legs are balanced. If certain legs need more leveling, PLACE SHIMS below them to raise their height.
- Next, use a measuring tape to locate the center of the table. This space is where the center slate should be.
- Put the other two slates in place beside it, and CHECK THE BALANCE with a leveler to ensure everything’s even.
- If you’re using only one slate, place the whole piece carefully into the frame. Then, use a leveler to check that it is properly balanced.
- Once the slates are in place, screw them securely onto the table. Use a leveler again to make sure the slates are balanced.
- Then, make any necessary leveling adjustments. You can use more shims in the space between the slates and the table frame to make the pool table completely level.
FAST FACT: While a professional may be able to do this on his own, we recommend getting someone to assist you with this step. Slates—especially a one-piece kind—are extremely heavy, so they can be difficult to position correctly on the table.
#5 – Sealing the Slates on the Table
There are two options for sealing slate joints. The first method uses wax while the second method uses putty.
For the wax method:
- Use a blowtorch to melt beeswax in the gap between slates—this will help each slate adhere properly, resulting in a smoother table surface.
- Repeat with the other slates’ joints.
- Leave the beeswax to dry for a few hours or more.
- Once fully dry, scrape off any excess wax from the table, then check if the slates are properly sealed.
For the putty method:
- Apply this mixture to the joints and make sure you don’t leave any gaps.
- Repeat until you’ve covered all slates’ joints, then leave to dry for a few minutes.
- Scrape off the excess hardened putty from the slates.
- Before applying wax or putty, you can also put a FEW DROPS of liquid glue between slates for more adhesion.
- Wipe off the excess with a cloth, and proceed with your preferred method.
#6 – Applying the Felt to the Table
- Before placing the felt, ensure the surface is clean.
- Spread the large piece of felt on the pool table, make sure it’s as CENTERED as possible.
- Using a stapler, fasten the cloth to the first side of the table.
- ALWAYS BEGIN AT THE MIDDLE, then move to the extremities before working your way back to the center.
- When you proceed to the next side of the table, pull the felt until it’s taut before repeating the same stapling process. This ensures no wrinkles will form and that the table surface will be completely smooth.
- Move to the middle slates, and begin stapling at the CENTER pocket.
- Make sure the felt is stretched to its maximum capacity before fastening it in place. Apply the same technique to the corner pockets.
- Now, spray the slate surface of the pocket with glue. Wait 2 MINUTES or more for the glue to dry before pushing the felt into the pocket opening.
- With a utility knife, make cuts into the cloth so that you can fold it neatly underneath the pocket. Smooth out any creases before stapling the underside of the pocket opening.
- Repeat these steps for all remaining pockets. Once that’s done, cut off all excess felt from the sides of the table.
#7 – Applying the Felt to the Rails
Now you have to apply the felt to the rails.
- Begin with an end rail, and mark the center so you have a guide when placing the felt.
- Carefully hammer the felt onto the rail, making sure you don’t create any creases. Cut off any excess cloth from the side.
- Turn the rail over and start folding the felt so it covers ALL EXPOSED AREAS.
- Smooth out any wrinkles; staple it into place, and cut off the excess cloth for a clean finish.
- Repeat this process for the other end rail as well as the side rails.
#8 – Finishing the Pool Table
All that’s left to do is to attach the rails and pockets to the table.
- Fasten the rails to the side of the table
- Staple the drop pockets to the underside of the table, and you’re done!
You can now play a fun game of pool at your brand new table!
How to Disassemble a Billiards Table
At this point, you know how to set up a pool table, but what if you need to take the table apart to make space in your game room?
Fortunately, disassembling the table is more straightforward than assembling it.
#1 – Gather the Materials
You’ll need safety goggles, a flathead screwdriver, a wrench, and a drill.
#2 – Remove Staples
Use your screwdriver to remove the staples that attach the drop pockets to the table. It’s important to wear safety goggles during this step because the staples could fall into your eyes by accident!
#3- Remove Rails
Next, remove the rails from the table with a wrench.
Make sure to collect ALL THE SCREWS and rail wood pieces—you’ll want to leave these somewhere safe so that you can easily reassemble the table next time.
#4 – Remove Felt
- Take out the felt covering by gently pulling at it from one corner of the table.
- Be careful, especially at the table edges and pockets, since this could tear! If that happens, you may have to buy a new one when you want to use your pool table again.
- If the felt is stapled onto the table, use your screwdriver again to remove the staples.
- Once the cloth is fully removed, fold it up and put it somewhere clean for safekeeping.
#5- Remove Screws
- To remove the slates from the table, you need to take out the screws.
- Scrape off any glue or beeswax coatings before removing the screws with a drill.
- Each corner of the table will have a screw, but there may also be additional screws running along the center.
#6 – Remove the Slate
After you’ve removed all the screws, carefully lift the slate off the pool table and set it aside.
This is very heavy and large in size, so ideally, more than one person should be doing the job. Don’t forget to put away the screws for future use too!
#7 – Remove the Legs
Now, remove the legs of the table.
- If the table’s legs are secured with nuts, take these out FIRST with a wrench.
- Then, unscrew the legs from the body of the table and set them aside.
You’re done! Time to pack everything up.
After going through all these steps, you should pack everything up nicely so you have a clean and organized game room.
- If you’ve kept the boxes from your initial purchase, now would be a good time to bring them back out to store the table framework, legs, felt, and other pool table components.
- When transferring game tables from your room to storage, make sure every little piece is accounted for.
- During disassembly, it’s CRUCIAL to bag up the screws, nuts, and any other fasteners used because you’ll be using these again during installation work next time.
- Don’t forget to pack up the shims that were placed under the legs of your table too. You’ll need these again when leveling your pool table.
How Much Does It Cost to Have a Pool Table Installed?
Labor costs are around $200 to $600, depending on the size and weight of your table.
These cover any moving and/or installation that needs to be done.
Note that prices may go up if the table has to be carried very far or lifted up the stairs. It’s best to get a quote from your local companies for a more accurate estimate of the price.
Is It Hard to Assemble a Pool Table?
Before assembling a game table in a specific room or area at home, you should always have the proper tools and safety equipment on hand.
You should also understand all the steps involved in a successful installation process.
However, if you don’t have much experience operating power tools or doing construction work, then it’s always an option to hire a professional to set up your table instead.
You’ll have to spend more money, of course, but at least you’re certain that the table will be assembled properly in the designated room, with no hassle at all on your part.
Because these professionals have more experience in the field, you can trust that they’ll do it efficiently too.
How Far Does a Pool Table Need to Be From the Wall?
In a game of pool, people need to move around and extend their cues behind them, so you’ll need a lot of room to play comfortably.
Generally, around 4.5 to 5 feet around all sides should be enough!
Getting game tables such as a billiards table is a great way to spruce up the recreation room in your home.
With all the steps outlined here, installing and leveling the game tables in your recreational room can be done in a few easy steps.
With the right tools and equipment, effort, and a little bit of patience, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying your new pool table at home!