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Pool Table Buyer's Guide For Beginners (2024 Edition)

Now that you're ready to move past pool parlours and take the plunge to owning your very own billiard table, how should you go about doing it? Fret not, because we've compiled this fuss-free beginners guide for you, with 4 basic questions as a guide.


1. Standard or Dining Pool Tables? (Served Purpose)


Dining Pool Tables

Dining pool tables are essentially multi-function pool tables that can convert to dining tables in seconds. They come with a table top, are usually lighter and thus easily moved, and have finishes that blend in to modern interiors. 

By offering the best of both worlds, they offer space-saving functionality and to those who enjoy minimalism, and are increasingly popular.


Standard tables

Unlike dining pool tables, standard tables aren't multi-functional but are dedicated in purpose - they are much heavier, and while they don't have accompanying table tops, they usually come with a larger external frame, giving them gravitas of their own.

Instead of dining function, some multifunctional pool tables have a unique multi-gaming function where they double up as a air-hockey table or have table tennis add-ons! 


2: Measure. Measure. Measure! (Size)


Next is size, which is quite literally the biggest factor. As with buying any sizeable pieces of furniture, you'll need to consider how much space you have in relation to the table size.


Table Size

Pool tables range from 6ft to 9ft, with the latter being the official competition size. The right size depends on your playing style, skill level, and size of the room, with each size offering different benefits. 

For example, a 6ft table might be more suitable for small spaces and if it's intended for casual play. 7ft - 8ft tables are popular sizes as they offer a good balance between space allowance and quality of play.

Read in-depth about finding the right pool table size here.

Room Size

As a rule of thumb, you'll need about 4.5 - 5 feet around the pool table perimeter for comfortable play. Check out our Room Size Guide to see how much space you'll need. 


3: Team Wood or Team Slate? (Surface)

There are mainly two types of bed tables used for billiard tables - wood or slate.


Wood Bed Tables

Playing surfaces made from wood usually utilise MDF, a form of compressed wood. This is to keep the table lightweight and movable which is necessary for some homes.  However MDF is more prone to warpage and game play is compromised as it is not 100% even. MDF bed tables are used for cheap replicates costing under $1k and are not used in proper pool tables.

Keeping affordable pricing and play experience in mind, the alternative for wood bed tables is waterproof High-density Fibreboard (HDF) reinforced with steel structure.

Uniquely developed by Centrum Leisure for pool tables, our reinforced HDF billiard tables are great options for those looking for a lightweight, professional and reasonably priced pool tables, justifying their higher prices over MDF. The HDF billiard tables are available in the Holiday and Valentino collections.


Slate Bed Tables

Slate bed tables are largely used for serious players or in commercial settings such as pool parlours and bars. With slate or natural stone, its innate properties make it a hardy material, providing a smooth and surface for the best ball roll suited for professional play. It is also extremely durable and stands the test of time. 

Slate tables also confer the benefit of cloth replacement. Unlike a wood table where the slate is stuck to the cloth, maintaining your pool table becomes easier in the long-run.

The only true downside of slate is that because they are heavy at over 150kg, the table is practically non-moveable once installed.


4. Classic or Contemporary? (Style)

Playing in style is as important as playing well! A pool table's sheer size means it represents a centerpiece so it's worth choosing one to complement the interior of your home, office or bar etc. There are a variety of stylistic options, broadly defined by their classic or contemporary styles. 



If you like a Classic pool table look, that could involve choosing elements such as solid mahogany wood table with an obvious grain pattern, alongside vintage thick, round carved legs that won't look out of place in a 1980s English home! In modern times though, definition of classic could mean an arch-legged design in  standard black trimmings.



In comparison, Contemporary pool tables are edgier in design - they take reference to Scandinavian or Industrial themes that are defined by clear lines and modern, brighter palettes. And as the billiard industry ups its transformation game, our brands offer a range of custom options such as changeable pocket colours, finishes, or cloth colours.

For something as subjective as aesthetics, it might be easier to explore both our Classic and Contemporary lines to perceive the differences. If you love pushing the boundaries of design, be sure to check out some of our designs that come in a futuristic finish in silver or glass. 


Decidedly Easy and Fun.

So there you have it. Service, Size, Surface, and Style are some basic factors to consider in choosing a pool table. And because planning can sometimes become tedious, at Centrum Leisure we enjoy helping our customers' decision-making process to become as easy and enjoyable as possible. Here's how:

  • Online: Use the 'Filter'¬†function¬†to toggle between various parameters. Besides being able to¬†filter using the¬†aforementioned¬†factors, we offer full price transparency so you can easily make cost-benefit comparisons.

    After shortlisting, simply save top picks using the 'Favorite' button (located on the product page) to review your choices.
  • In person: Thereafter, do¬†call or visit us to arrange for a chat with¬†our team. Nothing beats getting professional advice, and with¬†over 50 years of pool table experience in Singapore, we'd be happy to make expert recommendations based on your needs, or work closely with you to tailor a¬†customised pool table. A visit also means you'll get to¬†view almost all of our advertised tables in person,¬†given that we have the largest pool table showroom in Singapore.


As this guide is written for starters, do check out our other articles on Pool Tables for more advanced tips. We hope that it goes some way to help you find a table that fits your space, style and intent.





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