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How much room do I need for a pool table?

The first thing to consider when thinking about creating a pool room is the space. You need enough space to allow for players to shoot from all sides of the pool table. Here we help you consider what size room is needed for different sized pool tables.  Keep in mind over 80% of all people have at least one "tight" spot in their room where they need a short pool cue.  By using the following guidelines very carefully you can figure out where the tight spot is going to be and if it will make having a table in the room less fun.  At the end of the day what we really care about is if you can have fun playing on a pool table in this room.

We are often asked about Regulation Size Pool Tables.  This refers to a 4 1/2 foot by 9 foot tournament pool table like you see on ESPN.  It requires a much larger room than a 7 foot table as shown in the chart below.  The confusion is that any table where the play surface is twice as long as it is wide can be considered a "regulation" table.  Most people put what is called a "Home Eight" table in their home.

Remember you are not measuring for a pool table so much as you are measuring for the pool cues around a pool table.  How close the butt of the cue is to the wall will make a big difference on how much fun you will have playing the game.  Standard 2 piece cues measure at least 58 inches in length. The pool room size needed then is the length of the pool table plus 2 times the length of the cue and the width of the pool table plus 2 times the length of the cue.

Lets look at an example. You have a room with an available area measuring 16 feet 8 inches by 14 feet. This is 200 inches long by 168 inches wide. We know the length of our cue is 58 inches for each side of the pool table, or 116 inches, so the room length, 200 inches minus 116 cue inches equals 84 inches for allowed for the length of the pool table. The width of the room at 168 inches minus twice the cue length, 116 inches equals 52 inches allowed for the width of the pool table.

Your space can fit a pool table 84 inches long and 52 inches wide. Standard pool table sizes are 7 foot, 8 foot, 8 1/2 foot and 9 foot long. Your space would best fit a 7 foot table.  Always use the ACTUAL PLAYING SURFACE dimensions to represent the pool table in your room, not 4' by 8' rectangles!

Here is a chart of standard table sizes and Ideal Suggested Room Dimensions.

Table Size Ideal Room Size for 58" Cues Actual Playing surface
3.5' x 7' 16' 2" x 13' 1" 39" x 78"
4' x 8' 17'  x 13' 4" 44" x 88"
4.25' x 8.5' 17' 4" x 14' 46" x 92"
4.5' x 9' 18'  x 14' 50" x 100"

Keep in mind these dimensions are for using a standard 58" 2 piece cue. If you use a shorter cue you will be able to use a smaller space.  It is actually not too bad shooting with a short cue some of the time, provided the short cue is not less than 48".

Check out our Best Selling Pool Tables under $2,000!

Many homeowners would like to have a pool table in a lower level room but are hesitant because of a load bearing pole or beam in the way. Don't let this stop you. Most average homes have this obstruction. Here are some suggestions to help deal with that obstruction. Try to set up the your pool table so the obstruction is on a side of the pool table and not on the end. If it must be at the end of the table keep it at the end you break from, not the foot or rack end of the table. A lot more shots are taken from the rack end of a pool table and for break shots, the cue ball can be moved around to avoid the obstruction. If your pole is going to be on the side , try and put it across from the side pocket.  This is the lowest percentage shot in the game and will almost never come into play.

Buy a shorty cue for those times the pole is in your way. Shorty cues come as small as 36 inches in length and are also available in 48 and 52 inches in length. You may want a couple of shorty cues which will give you additional options around the obstruction.  The best selling short cue is called a "trouble shooter" and is specially weighted to feel more like a full length cue stick. 

The pool room you create will also need some accessories such as a rack for your cues, scorers and a place for spare balls. if you are playing a game of 9 ball and you need to set aside the 10 through 15 balls a combination score keeper and ball tray works great. Many of the wall or floor standing cue racks provide these storage options in one compact space. You will want to position these accessories in an area that does not obstruct play in any way. Wall mounted cue racks take up the least amount of space, and also add a decorative element to your pool room.

If the primary use of your pool room is for Kid's you can fit a 7 foot table in a smaller space. Use cues that are only 52 inches in length. This option will provide good quality playing in a room that only measures 188 inches long and 156 inches wide.

The best way to finalize a layout is with blue painters tape laid out in a rectangle on the floor in the room you want to put the table in.  The tape should be exactly the size of the pool table play surface.  Most people should start with the 44" by 88" rectangle for an 8' home table and measure to the walls to see what length cue sticks will work.  always start with 58" to 60" off of an end wall and centered width wise in the room to start taping out your rectangle.  Walk around with the tape measure after the rectangle is taped off to really get  a feel for how much space you have.

Even with obstructions you should be able to use and enjoy your pool room. add some house rules to accommodate shots involving the pole or corner wall that is in the way. The rules apply to all players so use them if needed. Remember its your house so you can do that. Rarely can the addition of a single space in your home be as enjoyable as your own pool room. Have fun!

Previous article Outdoor Balcony Pool Table Installed in Washington DC


Anthony Griffith - December 19, 2018

Funny how the room calculations for pool table sizes are in this article, yet folks are still asking size questions.

Scott - December 1, 2018

Good points! Its good to take time to figure out where you want to set up because once your pool table is set up it’s not that easy to just move it over, even a few feet since you will have to disassemble the entire table an put it back together if you decide it needs to go into another room.

Skip Stewart - December 1, 2018

I have a 4 × 8 table and used your minimum space requirements to have a sun room built for the table. I had the room made two inched larger than the 13’ 4" on your chart and it was still too small. The problem with your “width of the playing surface times twice the pool que length of 58 inches” is that it does not leave enough room for a normal stroke. If you like playing pool and don’t want to ever worry about the ball being in a place that would restrict a normal stroke, then I recommend no less than 13’ 8". That way the cue will fall off of your hand before it hits the wall. Fortunately, we were able to move the table to the other side of the room, where we had planned a seating area, and have plenty of room, but I would have opted to have the room made larger in hindsight. FWIW

Wheatgerm - December 1, 2018

Calculations of minimum space requirements typically add twice the standard cue length to the length and width of the table’s playing surface. See Robbie’s chart above. So for a 9’ table, your room should be at least 18’ long: 58” + 100” + 58” = 216” or 18’.

But pool isn’t a static game. It’s dynamic. When you shoot, you move the cue back and forth. And these calculations don’t account for this necessary movement. If the cue ball is very near the head or foot rail, and you want to shoot down the table, you’re going to need more room.

It will of course vary, but for a classic medium-speed pendulum stroke, your backstroke might be 4”. So you should add at least 8” to the usual calculations. For a 9’ table, that means your room should be at least 18’8” x 14’6”. That, in my view, is minimum. For a little peace of mind, you should probably add something more. You don’t want to be thinking about the walls in the middle of your stroke. Golfers who find themselves under a tree know exactly what that’s like.

William Lyle - January 29, 2018

My rec room is 11’9 x 27’2 what size pool table would fit?

JOZ - November 3, 2017

Hi, I have a room that is 10’ 11” x 13’10″. There is a 6′ wide window that adds about 8″ more to the long side.

Would I be able to fit and use a 7ft pool table in

Tyler - October 11, 2017

I have a 10 ft 10 by 20ft room could I fit a 7ft table with a 48in cue

Aaron Spencer - April 2, 2017

Thanks for this imformation,really help me understand ,what goes into having a pool table.

Josh - January 31, 2017

Hey just wondering if my 12×28 was to small but the looks of things it looks like it is.

cowboi - January 29, 2017

I dont have space n my house so I put my pool table outside and built a floor it works axcept weather so I finished it an built a 30ft long and 30ft wide shed I love it and its got heat my friends never leave some of them think they live there its so funny I love wat I did

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