As a new feature in the Blog we are going to start reviewing some of the game room options shown in our store. While it is difficult to be completely un-biased, we are going to look at individual items and do our best to compare them "apples to apples" with other similarly priced competitors. The first pool table up for review is the best selling Brunswick Tremont 8' Pool Table, a long time favorite in Maryland, Virginia, and the rest of the country as well. Here are some basic build specs on the table that play into our review:
-Three Piece 1" Framed Slate Play Surface, Brunswick Certified
-Hardwood and Hardwood Veneer Construction with Plywood and HDF support structure
-Lifetime Warranty on all wood components, slate, and cushion rubber through Brunswick Billiards
-Metal Bracket Style Corner and Cross Beam Construction, Faux leather pockets, around 715lb
The Tremont is a long time best seller because the style is so accessible and universal. The arched cabinet leading into a ball and claw carved leg has dominated the pool table industry for almost 20 years. Here is that unmistakable look of a fine furniture style pool table at a surprisingly low price point. The shield style pocket is also a winner as the look is "cleaner" than the outdated tassel style fringe pockets and the leather shield is more durable. Brunswick currently only offers the Tremont in the super popular Chestnut Finish and 8' home size. Around 70% of all modern Brunswick Tables are purchased in the Chestnut finish so once again this looks like a much higher end pool table than it actually is. There is not much carving or other detail work on the Tremont as those little touches increase the price quite a bit. The Tremont does feature Diamond Plastic rail sights and a nice rail and blind profile that balances the overall look of the table. For the money, the Tremont by Brunswick is a great looking table compared to just about anything on the market today.
The Tremont is the least expensive table in Brunswicks Contender line of Pool Tables and this means some sacrifices were made in the construction department. The Brunswick Certified three piece matched slate is a shared component with every other Brunswick Table, so this is definitely a premium feature. The rails are solid hardwood, although not a particularly high end wood as they appear very "filled" and artificial next to higher end tables with natural Maple, Cherry, or Oak rails. The cushion rubber on the Tremont is Brunswick's Centennial Grade cushion. This cushion is featured on many Contender grade tables and it is noticeably slower than the Super Speed Cushion on the Brunswick Collection pool tables. The metal bracket corner and cross beam construction is stable but not as solid as a true dove tailed or post style table would be. Brunswick's biggest cost cutting measure is the wood veneer cabinet on the Tremont. Veneer is much less expensive than solid wood, especially on these long side panels. Customers interested in solid hardwood should look elsewhere. Over all, the Tremont is stable and stays level, but too many compromised are made to the construction for this to be considered a "players" table.
A big reason the Tremont remains a best selling Brunswick pool table is the price point. With an online price of $1,749 buyers are presented with good value for under $2,000. Many other major manufacturer's don't have ball and claw leg furniture tables under $2,500 (sorry I can't compare Brunswick to off brand manufacturers). That being said you can get veneer pool tables for hundreds less and some hardwood tables start around the Tremont price point as well. The Brunswick Lifetime Warranty is a unique feature at this price point. The Tremont carries the same warranty as a Brunswick Isabella! This means Brunswick dealers actually get paid to go back and fix a problem (if any ever crop up) and parts are easily sourced from the largest pool table manufacturer in the world at no cost whatsoever to you as the owner. This is the least expensive table you can buy that still carries what is arguably the best manufacturer warranty available.
The Tremont Pool Table by Brunswick offers a good value and excellent overall style but comes up a little short in construction and options. Another little complaint we hear about the Tremont is the faux leather pockets. They are noticeably cheaper looking than the real leather pockets Brunswick uses on the collection tables and even the leather shield pockets used by other import lines. This is the perfect table for families or casual players looking for a solid table to invest in who are willing to compromise a bit on play and finish options. Brunswick only makes the Tremont in an 8' home size with the Chestnut wood finish, ball and claw legs, and shield pockets. If they offered a few more wood finishes, beefed up the construction, or put nicer cushions on the Tremont it would be a category killer, until then it remains one of the better values for recreational buyers.
Final Verdict: B+