Pool Table Slate: Pros & Cons

Pool table slate is an important component in your pool table construction. Continue reading below to learn more about:


1. Different Types of Pool Tables
2. Benefits of Using Pool Table Slate
3. What is Slate?
4. Types of Slate Used for Pool Tables
5. 1-Slate vs 3-Slate Tables


If you are looking to purchase a high-quality pool table made with slate, contact us.

1. Different Types of Pool Tables

pool table slate

Pool table slate will give you a smooth, incredibly flat playing surface

A pool table’s playing surface can be made from a number of different materials including:


*Wood (usually fiberboard or plywood)


Although wood and plastic pool tables are much less expensive than their slate counterpart and lighter in weight, they don’t have the same durability. They are not usually constructed so that you can recloth them, so once the felt wears out, you can no longer us them.


In addition, neither wood nor plastic pool tables will give you the precise flat surface that you can achieve with a slate pool table.

2. Benefits of Using Pool Table Slate

Pool table slate is incredibly durable and easy to locate

Slate pool tables have a number of great benefits that you can’t get with a wood or plastic pool table.



Better Playing Surface:



John Thurston constructed the very first slate pool table in 1826. He found that wooden pool tables were frustrating to play on, because over time, the wooden playing surface would warp. Looking for a solution to this problem, he tried to find a better type of material that would meet the following criteria:



*Inexpensive to purchase
*Easy to locate
*Gives you a smooth playing surface
*Would not warp if exposed to moisture or absorption



He discovered that slate perfectly matched all of these requirements. By about 1835, pool table slate had become popular material to use for constructing a pool table. It is still the number one choice for constructing superior tables.


Lifetime Warranty:



Slate is such an incredibly durable material and will last many years, top manufacturers of slate tables will give you a lifetime warranty on your slate pool table.



Quality Construction:



High-quality pool tables will have a piece of slate that is larger than your playing surface. The slate will extend underneath the rails of your table giving it added resilience.



In addition, the slate will be enclosed in the wooden frame so that the cloth can be stapled or tacked right to the wooden frame instead of simply being stuck to the underside of the piece of slate. 

3. What is Slate?

pool table slate

Slate is a type of rock that can be split into large, thin, level slabs

Slate is a metamorphic rock of sedimentary origin. It is made from fine-grained sediments like mud or sometimes volcanic ash laid down in layers over millions of years.


It is mostly composed of quartz, sericite, and minerals of the chlorite group. Slate can be split into large, thin, slabs that are perfectly level, making it a great choice for pool tables.

The following video will give you more information on pool table slate.

Pool tables such as those made by Legacy Billiards come with a one-inch slate

Pool table slate comes in different thicknesses from a half-inch up to two inches. One-inch is considered the standard thickness for pool tables. Most professionals will play on a one-inch slate table.

4. Type of Slate Used for Pool Tables

Both Italian and Brazilian slate are used for pool tables

One of the main reasons that slate was chosen as a great material for constructing pool tables is that is it available all around the world. Spain, China, European Union, Brazil, and India are the top 5 slate exporters in the world. Italy is also a huge exporter of slate, coming in at eleventh.



Italian Pool Table Slate:



Most pool enthusiasts would agree that the best slate for making a pool table comes from the Ligurian region of Italy. The slate from this location is renowned for its high quality. This slate will be marked “OIS” which stands for original Italian slate.


Italian slate is usually softer than slate from other regions in the world. This makes it easier to work with and a popular choice for making billiard tables.



Brazilian Pool Table Slate:



In recent years, slate from Brazil has been growing in popularity because of its great durability. In fact, it is so strong that it is virtually impossible to bend or break meaning it will stand up to heavy use for many years to come. In addition, the mineral composition of Brazilian slate gives it an incredibly flat surface.



Regardless of whether you choose a table made with Italian or Brazilian slate, you will be getting a table that will last for generations as long as you properly maintain it.

5. 1-Slate vs 3-Slate Tables

3-slate pool tables are easier to move

One of the downsides of using pool table slate to construct your table is the weight. The slate for a typical pool table will weigh between 180 and 270 kg (400 to 600 lbs). This makes it very difficult and expensive to both ship and move.


1-Slate vs 3-Slate Tables:


Because of the sheer size and weight of a 1-slate pool table, manufacturers started making 3-slate tables. With a 3-slate table, the slate starts out as one piece and is divided into 3 pieces that will match perfectly together.  This design has several advantages including:


*Less risk of breakage during a move or shipping
*Easier to move, ship, and set up
*Less expensive to ship and move
*Easier to manuever down narrow hallways, through narrow doorways, and around corners


The disadvantage of a 3-slate table is that it is more difficult to assemble. You need to make sure that the three pieces line up perfectly so that your table is completely flat. A professional installer will be able to do this for you, so you don’t have to worry.


Why Choose Associated Billliards?

Associated Billiards is an authorized dealer of high-quality Legacy Billiards. We not only have an incredible selection of pool tables, but we also have everything you need to enjoy your games and play like a professional. We offer:


*The widest selection of billiards supplies in the region

*Wholesale prices every day

*Personalized customer care

*Extensive service and delivery area


From furniture to cue, moving to re-clothing and more, you’ll find everything you need at Associated Billiards. Contact us for all your pool table needs.

What our customers are saying...

“We purchased a Cimarron Pool Table in the Whisky Barrel finish. We added matching bar stools and a matching pool cue rack. Thomas was wonderful from start to finish. He was very knowledgeable and the install was perfect. I love how the accessories match the finish of the table. We love our new pool table and would highly recommend Associated Billiards!!!!”


-Laurie Nlssen