Buying a brand new pool table
At Table-Tek we are glad that you are researching before buying your new pool table. With internet sales skyrocketting in the new pool table market, there are some places to stay far away from. It is a funny position being an installer for many different new table companies, and then making a broad statement like that. Please don't expect us to name which tables we suggest you avoid, but we will gladly steer you toward the table brands that through our experience are a worthy purchase. Determining which table is best for you is a combination of a few important factors. The more you can nail down before you are ready to ask for a recommendation, the better we can suggest your table. Below are a few guidelines to consider;
1) What is your available space going to allow? check the room size guide if you are not sure
2) What is the normal use of the table? recreation for kids, entertaining guests, decor or practice
3) What style of table will match your room plans? Antique style, Modern, Contemporary
4) Do we have any access issues that will hinder moving a pool table into the room? tight stairs, etc
5) What is the budget you are working within?
Can you help me find a table?
We will gladly help find the table that in our best opinion suites your needs within the budget you are working with. To help you most efficiently please let us know the purpose of the table. For example, do you need a practice table, entertaining table, competition table, decor, commercial, etc. A free table can still cost several hundred dollars by the time you are playing on it! Where possible we like to steer home table customers toward antiques, because in addition of the high quality you can actually make money longterm since they appreciate in value. Certainly beats buying a table for $2500 that you end up giving away to the first person who will take it!
Do my cushions need replacing?
Your cushions are to your pool table as what your tires are to you car. When they wear down your performance suffers. Let them go too long after they go bad and it will make play (or driving for that matter) poor if not dangerous. Below are a few pictures of what happens when a cushion wears out.
There are a few different ways that a cushion can go bad; hardening, glue breakdown or the most dramatic of all disintegration. Since it is impossible to show a hard cushion in a picture you are gonna have to trust me on this one! You can test your cushions at home with a careful ear and by pinching the cushion where the ball hits. The rebound of the ball at moderate to fast speed should make the same sounds all around the table on each of the 6 rails. Each table will sound differently based on the design of the rails and frame resonating the energy from the ball striking the rubber cushion. You should also be able to squeeze the cushion with finger presure between 1/8" and 1/4". Sometimes the signs are not apparent until the cloth comes off, at which point your technician will explain the options available and costs involved. Typically cushions only have a life of 5-10 years, but certain brands will vary greatly. Once you know the cushions are bad, you should plan ahead to change them at the same time you have new cloth installed. Nothing is worse than spending good money on a pool table, just to have the dead cushions making play miserable. This is to be considered a normal maintenance item, though few new table manufacturers will tell you that. You wouldn't drive on the highway with your family in the car if you knew you had bald tires, why take the play out of your playroom?
Do you sell logo cloth?
We can order logo cloth and even custom printed cloth from reputable dealers. The downside is that the price is still quite high because of low production numbers. For special order cloth we do ask for the cloth cost upfront since the chance of selling a spare cloth from your favorite college team is pretty low compared with a solid color if something falls through with the job. As these cloth choices become more mainstream you can expect the cost to drop significantly.