Pool Table Repair: Tips and Tricks for Fixing Common Issues

Pool table repair is crucial to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. Over time, wear and tear can take a toll on the table’s gameplay and aesthetic appeal. Neglecting to maintain the table can result in costly repairs or even replacement.

Common issues that arise with pool tables include worn-out felt, damaged pockets, and loose rails. These issues can significantly impact the game’s quality, making it difficult to play and enjoy. Fortunately, there are many quality billiards and billiard services that specialize in repairing these issues, restoring the table to its former glory.

In this article, we will delve into the importance of maintaining a pool table and the impact of wear and tear on gameplay and aesthetics. We will then focus on repairing common issues with pool tables, discussing the services available to restore the table to its original condition. Whether you are a seasoned player or a casual enthusiast, this article will provide valuable insights into pool table repair.

Understanding Pool Table Components

When it comes to pool table repair, it’s important to have a basic understanding of the different components that make up a billiard table. Here are the key components to know about:

Surface Material

The surface material of a pool table is typically made of felt or worsted wool. Over time, the surface material can become worn or damaged, which can affect the quality of the game. Signs that the surface material needs to be replaced include bald spots, tears, or excessive pilling.

Cushions and Rails

Cushions and rails are an essential part of a pool table. They are typically made of rubber or synthetic compounds and are responsible for controlling the movement of the balls. Over time, cushions can become degraded, which can affect the bounce of the balls. Signs of degraded cushions include a lack of bounce or a “dead” spot on the table.


Pool table pockets can be made of either leather or plastic. Leather pockets are more traditional and can add a classic look to a table, while plastic pockets are more durable and can withstand more wear and tear. Signs that pockets need to be repaired include holes or tears in the material.

Frame and Structure

The frame and structure of a pool table are typically made of wood. Common issues with the frame and structure include warping or instability. Signs of warping include a table that is no longer level or has a noticeable bow in the middle.

Legs and Leveling

The legs of a pool table can be made of different materials, including wood or metal. It’s important to ensure that the legs are sturdy and level, as an uneven table can affect the quality of the game. Signs of an unlevel table include balls rolling to one side or a table that wobbles when bumped.

Overall, having a basic understanding of the different components of a pool table can help with identifying issues and performing repairs.

Pool Table Repair Problems and Solutions

When it comes to pool tables, there are several common problems that can arise over time. However, with proper maintenance and repair, these issues can be addressed effectively. In this section, we will explore some of the most common pool table problems and their solutions.

Felt Repair and Replacement

Over time, the felt on a pool table can become worn out, leading to an unsightly area on the table. When this happens, the best solution is to replace the felt entirely. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to replace the felt on a pool table:

  1. Remove the old felt from the table. Start at one end of the table and work your way across, pulling the felt away from the table as you go.
  2. Clean the table surface thoroughly with a brush and vacuum.
  3. Lay the new felt on the table, making sure it is centered and straight.
  4. Staple the felt to the table, starting at the center and working your way outwards.
  5. Stretch the felt tightly and evenly across the table, stapling it down as you go.
  6. Trim any excess felt with scissors.

To ensure the smoothness and tension of the new felt, it is essential to use a tool called a felt stretcher. This tool helps to pull the felt tightly across the table, resulting in a flatter result.

Cushion Restoration

The cushions on a pool table can also become worn out over time, resulting in a small bump or small bumps on the table’s edge. To restore the cushions, you can follow these steps:

  1. Test the cushion resilience by hitting a ball against it. If the ball bounces back with force, the cushion is still in good condition. If it doesn’t, it’s time to replace the cushion rubber.
  2. Remove the old cushion rubber from the table using a bent needle or similar tool.
  3. Clean the cushion area thoroughly with a brush and vacuum.
  4. Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the cushion area, and then attach the new cushion rubber to the table.
  5. Use a cushion press to ensure that the cushion rubber is firmly attached to the table.

Pocket Repair

Torn pockets are another common problem with pool tables. In some cases, the pockets can be mended, while in others, full replacement is necessary. Here are some techniques for repairing torn pockets:

  1. If the tear is small, you can use a needle and thread to mend it. Be sure to use a thread that matches the color of the pocket.
  2. If the tear is too large, you will need to replace the pocket entirely. To do this, remove the old pocket from the table and attach the new pocket using a pocket stretcher.

Structural Repairs

Cracks and splits in the wood frame of a pool table can cause significant problems if left unaddressed. To fix these issues, follow these methods:

  1. For cracks, apply wood glue to the affected area and clamp it until the glue dries.
  2. For splits, remove the damaged section of the frame and replace it with a new piece of wood.
  3. For warping, use a heat gun to apply heat to the affected area, then apply pressure until the wood returns to its original shape.

Fixing and Adjusting Table Level

A pool table that is not level can cause the balls to roll unevenly, affecting the overall playing experience. To fix this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Use a level to determine which leg(s) of the table need to be adjusted.
  2. Use shims or washers to adjust the height of the leg(s) as needed.
  3. Once the table is level, use a straightedge to ensure that the playing area is even.

To ensure that the table remains level over time, it is essential to use a tool called a pool table leveler. This tool helps to ensure that the table is always even, even if the floor beneath it is not.

Advanced Repairs and Modifications

Replacing Slate

When a pool table’s slate is damaged, it can cause significant problems with gameplay. Signs that slate needs replacement include visible cracks, chips, or warping. If any of these issues are present, it’s important to replace the slate as soon as possible to ensure that the table remains level and playable.

Handling and installing new slate can be a tricky process, which is why it’s typically best left to a professional pool table repair service. They have the experience and equipment necessary to safely remove the old slate and install new slate without causing any damage to the table.

Upgrading Materials

Upgrading the materials used in a pool table can greatly improve its performance and longevity. One preferred option is to upgrade the felt and cushion materials. Premium felt materials can provide a smoother and more consistent playing surface, while high-quality cushion materials can improve the table’s bounce and responsiveness.

Another consideration when upgrading materials is the type of wood or synthetic used for the table’s structure. Certain woods or synthetics can provide greater durability and stability, which can prolong the table’s lifespan and improve gameplay.

When considering advanced repairs and modifications for a pool table, it’s important to work with a professional pool table repair service. They can provide expert advice on the best options for upgrading materials and performing repairs, ensuring that the table remains in top condition for years to come.

Preventative Maintenance

To keep a pool table in good condition, preventative maintenance is essential. Regular cleaning and care can help prolong the life of the table and ensure that it continues to provide a good time for years to come.

Routine Cleaning and Care Tips

Routine cleaning and care are crucial to maintaining a pool table. The following tips can help keep the table in good condition:

  • Use a soft-bristled brush to remove dust and debris from the playing surface. Brush in one direction, from the head of the table to the foot, to avoid pushing debris into the pockets.
  • Vacuum the playing surface to remove any remaining dust and debris. Use a low suction setting to avoid damaging the felt.
  • Wipe down the rails and pockets with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or grime that may have accumulated.
  • Clean the balls with a ball cleaner or a solution of warm water and mild soap. Dry them thoroughly before returning them to the table.

Protective Accessories to Prolong Table Life

Protective accessories can help prolong the life of a pool table. Consider the following:

  • Use a table cover to protect the playing surface from dust, spills, and other damage.
  • Invest in a set of cue tip protectors to prevent damage to the felt caused by cue tips.
  • Use a ball tray to prevent the balls from scratching the playing surface when they are racked.

Scheduling Professional Inspections

Regular professional inspections can help identify any potential problems with a pool table before they become serious. A professional can inspect the table for any signs of wear and tear, and can recommend any necessary repairs or maintenance. It is recommended that antique pool tables be inspected by a professional at least once a year to ensure that they are in good condition.

When to Call in the Professionals

While some pool table repairs can be done by the owner, there are limits to what can be done without professional help. Understanding the limits of DIY repairs is important to avoid causing further damage to the table.

When it comes to significant damage or complex repairs, it’s best to call in a qualified pool table repair service. Finding a reliable and proficient billiards repair service is essential for ensuring that the repair is done correctly and efficiently.

There are many professionals who offer pool table repair near me, billiard repair near me, and pool table restoration near me. Some reputable companies include Triangle Billiards and Proficient Billiards. These companies offer a range of services, including pool table refinishing, pool table recovery, and billiard table repair nearby.

When hiring a pool table repair service, it’s important to consider factors such as customer service, experience, and expertise. A good repair service will be able to provide an accurate estimate of the cost and time required for the repair. They should also be able to answer any questions or concerns that the owner may have.

During a professional repair service, the technician will typically inspect the table to identify any issues or damage. They will then provide a detailed explanation of the necessary repairs and the cost involved. The repair process may involve replacing the felt, leveling the table, or repairing the pockets.

In summary, it’s important to recognize when to call in the professionals for pool table repair. Finding a qualified and reliable repair service is essential for ensuring that the repair is done correctly and efficiently.


In summary, timely pool table repair is crucial to maintaining the longevity and quality of your pool table. Neglecting repairs can lead to further damage and costly repairs down the line. By regularly inspecting the table and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure that your pool table remains in good condition for years to come.

It is important to find a reliable and trustworthy repair service that can get the job done right. Take the time to research and compare different repair services to find the best one for your needs. In addition, it is recommended to keep a maintenance schedule and follow it diligently to prevent any major issues from arising.

By investing in regular maintenance and repairs, readers can enjoy their well-maintained pool tables and continue to play their favorite games with friends and family. So, if you notice any signs of wear and tear on your pool table, don’t hesitate to contact a professional repair service to address the issue promptly.


Pool table owners often have a lot of questions about maintenance, repairs, and upkeep. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

How often should I replace the felt on my pool table?

The frequency with which you should replace the felt on your pool table depends on how often you use it. If you play on it every day, you may need to replace the felt every year or two. If you only use it occasionally, you may be able to go several years between replacements. Signs that your felt needs to be replaced include tears, holes, and excessive wear.

Can I clean my pool table with regular household cleaners?

No, you should not use regular household cleaners on your pool table. Many household cleaners contain chemicals that can damage the felt, wood, or other components of the table. Instead, use a cleaner specifically designed for pool tables or a mild soap and water solution.

How do I know if my pool table needs to be leveled?

If your pool balls roll to one side of the table or if you notice that the table is wobbling, it may need to be leveled. You can check this by placing a level on the table and making sure that it is even. If it is not, you may need to adjust the legs or shims to level the table.

Can I move my pool table by myself?

Moving a pool table is a difficult and complex task that should not be attempted by someone without experience. It is best to hire a professional to move your pool table to avoid damaging it or injuring yourself.

How much does it cost to repair a pool table?

The cost of repairing a pool table depends on the nature and extent of the damage. Minor repairs, such as replacing a torn felt, may cost a few hundred dollars. More extensive repairs, such as replacing a damaged rail, can cost several thousand dollars. It is best to get a quote from a professional before committing to any repairs.

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