Pool Table Cloth Buyers Guide
When purchasing a home pool table one of the biggest concerns is the cloth or "felt". The biggest decision is whether to spend extra money on upgrading the cloth? After a couple of decades working on tables, here is how I see it: Lets say you are buying a suit and you know that you will wear it with several different shirts and ties for special occasions. Do you want a suit that fits poorly and wears out at the seams and elbows? Do you want to have to buy another suit in the next 3 or 4 years? What if I said you could spend a few hundred dollars more NOW and get a suit that will last at least 10 years, repels stains, and will not wear out or look shoddy over time?
I look at cloth the same way. Would you want billiard cloth that comes "free" with a pool table, has to be replaced every 5 years, fuzzes up, and looks cheap? By spending a few hundred dollars you will get billiard cloth that is like fine suit wool. A billiard cloth that will last 10-12 years, a cloth that will stand the test of time and has Teflon stain protection, cloth that will not FUZZ UP! Better billiard cloth will also reduce the risk of ball burn and miss-cue holes, making the game more fun to play.
Having had years of experience with all type of cloth I know that spending the extra money is worth it. Time and time again I have worked with lesser cloth only to have it rip while stretching across the play surface. Some customers spill a drink on thier economy cloth and have to replace it with the upgraded cloth (spending more money in the process) within a few days of buying thier pool tables. People don't know that up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit of friction heat can generate between the cloth and ball on a well struck break shot. If you have a lesser cloth that will not only cause ball burn but wear a hole in the process. If you have adequate cloth you as a consumer do not have to worry about burning a hole in your cloth. The choice is simple: do you want to save in the short term or save hundreds in recovers and piece of mind over the years?
-Chris Garling is a Brunswick/Olhausen Certified Installation Technician with 15+ years experience.