A high-quality pool table that is properly cared for can last for generations. However, pool table owners need to ensure the cloth on the table is well maintained to have the pool table functioning at its best. Pool table cloths are liable to fray when used regularly, negatively affecting the quality of the pool game by slowing the run of the table and decreasing the accuracy of the shot. Though the longevity of the cloth can be maintained by properly brushing away any debris and using a pool table cover to protect the surface when not in play, it’s recommended that table owners replace the felt every three years to keep the table at its best.
1. Measuring the Table
Figuring out the table measurements can be easy if owners can refer to the original instructions that came with it. However, in the case that they no longer have the instructions, a tape measure can be used to find the width of the table; the length of the table is exactly twice the size of the width. It should also be noted that cloth sizes refer solely to the felted surface area of the table, not the whole table; different models have different rail sizes, so don’t measure that part.
2. Choose the Cloth
Owners can begin searching for a new cloth on eBay once they’ve established the size of their table. To get started, they can type ‘Pool Felt’ into the search text box and select the ‘Snooker, Pool, Billiards’ category from the left hand menu on the results page. Cloths come in a range of colours and designs, so buyers should think carefully about how they want their table to look. Once the right felt has been found, owners can bid or ‘Buy It Now’ and wait for it to arrive.
3. Prepare to Install
Applying a new felt surface to a pool table is a straightforward process and can be done by anyone who is comfortable using basic tools, though it’s recommended to have at least one friend present to help. Glue is needed, or a staple gun (plus staples) depending on the table. The materials the previous felt was attached to before removal should be considered.
4. Disassemble the Table
Some mild disassembling of the table is needed before to applying the new felt. The pocket linings should be removed and rails using a screwdriver – owners must mark their location with a pencil beforehand - and remove the old felt using a staple remover. The slate should now be exposed.
5. Apply New Felt
Before applying the felt, no marks or other defects should appear on the new felt. If there aren’t, the felt should be spread evenly and tightly over the slate ensuring there are no bumps. The cloth must overhang the slate by a few inches so it can be attached to the underside. If there is too much felt, cut if off with scissors or a sharp knife. If the slate is wood backed, use a staple gun to fasten the felt to the slate by attaching a staple on the underside. (A glue adhesive can be used along the edge instead of staples if the slate isn’t wood backed). Cut small slits into the felt at the pockets to allow it to fold underneath smoothly.
While it’s not essential to replace the felt on the rails at the same time as replacing the felt of the slate, it’s a good opportunity to do so - especially if one is changing the colour or design of the playing surface. To do this, the old felt must be removed and the new felt attached to the inner edge - meeting the outer wood/plastic/metal of the rail in the centre - using a feather strip. Once it’s solidly attached, fold it over itself and attach it underneath using a staple gun or adhesive. Make sure the felt is pulled taut and cut off any excess material to make it look professional. Be extra careful when applying the felt to the pockets to ensure it is smooth.
7. Reassemble the Pool Table
After owners have applied the new felt, they’re ready to reassemble their table and start playing. They must reattach the rails in their exact position before they began and carefully reattach the pocket linings. Once they’ve secured the table with bolts, they should remove any excess debris that might harm the new felt. The job is now complete and the owner is ready for a game of pool.
Buying Pool Felt on eBay
Owners can go to the Sporting Goods > Snooker, Pool, Billiards > Accessories, Decor > Table Cloths section to find the best deals for their table. They should be sure to just the seller history to ensure that they will be making their purchase from a reliable source.