If you’ve chosen to invest in a pool table, you’ll want to ensure you’re taking the proper steps to maintain it to maximize its lifespan.
What happens if your felt rips or is worn down and needs to be replaced?
Knowing some basic pool table repair tips can make dealing with these issues easier. Furthermore, including certain steps in your regular maintenance routine minimizes how often you’ll discover damage to your table.
If you’re unsure how to care for your pool table or need to make a quick repair, this guide is for you.
Below, you’ll find the most common issues pool table owners face, how to DIY your pool table repair, when you need to call in the professionals, and easy ways to maintain your table day to day.
Most Common Pool Table Repairs
While a high-end pool table can last you for many years, over time, it will show signs of use, wear down, and eventually need repairs.
Some of the most common issues that would require pool table repairs include:
- Rips or tears in your felt
- Fading from sun exposure
- Your table being knocked off balance (often by sitting on it or improperly moving it)
Ripped Pool Table Cloth
The felt of your pool table is one of the most common items that will require repair, whether it be from your cue tearing it during a trick shot or being exposed to the sun day in and day out.
It’s the one part of your table that will see the most action, so it’s natural it will begin showing signs of wear and tear faster than the rest of your table.
Generally, the felt of your table can last you anywhere from ten to fifteen years based on how much you use it and how well you care for it.
The reality is the simple act of using your table will cause it to wear down over time, and your play style will affect how quickly you begin seeing signs of deterioration.
For example, if you often play competitive rounds with your friends and enjoy taking on challenging shots, your table may be more susceptible to damage than during a less abrasive game.
This is particularly true if you have kids that are just learning how to play. As your children learn how to properly line up shots and gain the stability needed to follow each hit through, they’re likely to nick the table, causing damage to the felt from the impact of the cue.
Another aspect that can quickly damage your table is jewelry, belts, and clothes.
As you lean over the table to line up your shot, everything on your body comes in contact with your table’s felt. This can lead to rings and bracelets getting snagged or your belt buckle catching on the felt and ripping it. Even the zipper of your jeans can cause small tears in your felt.
If your pool table is often subjected to sunlight, you may increase the issues you’ll experience with your table over the years.
The sun can dull the vibrancy of your table’s felt and dry out your cushions and pockets if they’re made of leather, causing them to crack and split.
Reconditioning the leather of your pockets or regularly brushing your felt can’t fix years of being exposed to the sun, so it’s essential you protect your table from the harsh rays beaming through your windows.
Damage to Your Tables Structure and Stability
How enjoyable your game of pool is heavily relies on your table’s structural integrity. The last thing you want is unpredictable roll patterns causing you to miss that final shot.
When your table is installed, it’s professionally leveled, ensuring each play you make is accurate and reliable.
Generally, pool tables fall out of alignment for one or two reasons:
- Being moved
- Being sat on
After your table has been installed, it’s important not to move it. Doing so can throw your table out of balance, leaving you with unpredictable and unenjoyable games.
This can also happen from people sitting on the edges as they make difficult shots. While landing that shot is important, propping yourself up on the end of your pool isn’t worth the risk.
Pool Table Repair DIY
One of the only pool table repairs you can make on your own is to your felt.
If you’ve discovered a tear or rip in your table, you can attempt to fix it on your own, however, this is only recommended if it’s a small section that’s damaged. If your felt has significant damage, it should be fully replaced, which will need to be done by a professional technician.
For all other issues, you’ll need to contact a professional to assess the damage and make the necessary repairs.
Additionally, before making any repairs, you should verify if your table still has a warranty. If it does, you should book a service appointment to have a professional make the necessary repairs.
If your pool table’s felt has a small rip and you want to repair it yourself, you can glue a small piece of new felt to your table, effectively replacing the damaged section.
8 Easy Steps to Fix a Rip in Your Pool Table Felt
- Using a sharp razor blade, carefully cut a square around the damaged area of your felt.
- After slowly removing this section of felt from your table, gently sand the exposed area of your table with fine sandpaper.
- Cut the same size square from your repair felt. To air on the side of caution, you can cut this square slightly larger and trim it down after gluing it to your table.
- Ensure the exposed area is free of any dust from the sanding. Then, place a very small amount of concrete glue on the area, evenly spreading it over the space. If you put too much, it will make your repair sit higher than the surrounding felt.
- Lay the new felt section over the glue and firmly press down around the area.
- Carefully trim any excess felt around the edges.
- Using one of your pool balls, gently roll it over the repair to help each corner be securely glued down. Don’t apply extra pressure to the ball while doing this, or you’ll risk damaging your table further. Your repair should be nearly invisible when done correctly.
- Wait 24 hours for it to fully dry before using your table again.
5 Ways to Maintain Your Pool Table
How well you maintain your pool table will have a direct influence over the number of repairs you need to make, ensuring it stays in its best condition over the years.
Your pool table is a high-end piece of furniture and should be treated as such.
The good news is that maintaining your pool table is simple, and with just a few easy steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your table for many years.
1. Keep It Covered
Investing in a high-quality leather cover for your pool table can make a significant difference in the health of your felt.
When your table is uncovered, your felt is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays and any dust in your air.
As mentioned above, the sun can strip the color from your felt, leaving it a dull version of its original form.
Additionally, the dust and dirt in your air can settle on your table’s surface, damaging your felt as it binds to its fibers. This can make your gameplay unpredictable, reducing the smooth glide of your ball on its surface each time you hit it across the table.
A leather cover easily solves this issue. They are thick enough to effectively keep the sun from damaging your felt, and will protect your table from dust anytime you’re not playing a game.
2. Maintain Your Cues
Your cues can significantly impact your table’s felt, easily tearing it if they miss the ball and hit the table instead.
If your tips aren’t in their best condition, you drastically increase the risk of causing damage to your felt and tabletop anytime they come in contact with one another.
Each of your cues will have a section of leather at the top. This section comes in contact with your ball with each hit, slowly wearing it down.
When this leather becomes too worn down, leaving it smaller than the width of a dime, your cue has a better chance of damaging your felt when it comes in contact with it.
Repairing your cue tips or replacing them when they are too worn down will help minimize the risk of a missed hit resulting in a torn section of your felt.
3. Clean Your Felt
Even when you keep your table covered, your felt will still be exposed to the outside elements every time you play a round of pool.
Everything that comes in contact with your felt can leave behind dirt, so it’s essential you properly clean it.
Cleaning your felt is fairly easy and can be done by gently vacuuming it or brushing it.
When vacuuming your felt, use a low setting and a gentle vacuum head to protect your table.
If you brush your felt to clean it, ensure you always brush it in the same direction, avoiding circular motions. This will help maintain your table’s natural texture, keeping your gameplay smooth and predictable.
4. Keep Your Pool Balls Clean
This is an aspect of pool table maintenance that is often forgotten.
With each game, your balls are coming in contact with your pool cues which have a dusting of chalk on them. This chalk will get transferred onto the balls each time you hit them.
This results in more drag occurring as your ball rolls across the table and can even transfer onto the felt, wearing it down faster and making it dirty.
Avoiding this is as simple as wiping your pool balls clean after each game. If you discover tougher grime on their surface, you can use a billiard ball cleaner or soap and water to gently clean the surface.
5. Keep Drinks Away From Your Table
Playing an exciting round of pool pairs perfectly with a cold drink. This can quickly become a recipe for disaster if you prop your drink on the ledge of your table or accidentally spill it during your match. Any liquid spilling on your felt can quickly ruin it, leaving you with one option – replacing it!
Accidents happen, but a spilled drink can be a costly mistake.
The good news is, this is easily avoided.
Adding tables or shelves in your game room or installing your pool table near your home bar can make it easy to safely store your drink while you take on your next challenging shot.
Pool Table Repair in North Carolina
Our showrooms are outfitted with top-of-the-line tables from industry-leading brands, and with a variety of styles, we’re sure to have one to fit your needs.
Visit one of our four conveniently located showrooms, or request a pool table service online today.
Have questions? Contact us, and one of our experts will be happy to assist you!