Since a lot of people have extra space in their garage, pool enthusiasts may consider setting up a pool table out there. But is keeping a pool table in a garage a good idea?
One challenge for keeping a pool table is managing humidity and temperature to keep the wood from warping. A pool table can be kept in a garage with a dehumidified and temperature-controlled environment. By adding an AC unit or dehumidifier, the garage can be adapted for housing a pool table.
Setting up a pool table in the garage can be a fun way to use the garage as a space for gathering with friends and family. Keep reading to find out the best tips for keeping a pool table in the garage.
How to Keep a Pool Table in a Garage
You can keep a pool table in a garage by making a few adjustments to the space to protect the table and make the environment more comfortable. To protect your investment in the pool table you should make some provisions to ensure that the wood does not become warped which will make it hard to play.
Some pool tables have a bed that is made of wood. These are lighter and more affordable pool tables compared to slate bed tables. They are more susceptible to the effects of changing temperatures and humidity because of how wood can warp with moisture.
When wood gets colder or warmer it can expand and contract which causes warping. Condensation from changes in the temperature can also make the wood and cloth moist, causing damage. When the wood of a pool table warps it makes the surface uneven which affects the gameplay.
If there is a dip in the board the billiard balls will all roll towards it because of gravity, so it is important to preserve the stability of the board by preventing warping. Managing the temperature, and humidity, and adding insulation to the space can help to protect the pool table from the effects of warping.
There are a few different ways to manage the temperature within the garage. It is best to keep the pool table at a steady and moderate temperature and it will also make the space more comfortable to hang out in while playing.
How to Control the Temperature in a Garage
- HVAC system
If the home HVAC system is hooked up to the garage then this is perfect. The heating, ventilation, and air system will keep the garage at a temperature consistent with the interior of the house.
- Space heaters
In the cold winter months, space heaters can be used in the garage to heat the space. The only problem with using space heaters is that they can run up the energy bill and some space heaters can be a fire hazard if left alone. Because it is not recommended to leave space heaters running when you are not home, they can be a good solution for keeping the space comfortable when playing but not for keeping the table at a steady temperature.
One way to keep the temperature consistent and managed is using a smart heater (Amazon link), this heater would be ideal in a garage-sized space too.
- Window A/C unit
For keeping the garage cool in the summer, a window air conditioning unit is an affordable and easy-to-install method. Window A/C units can cause draftiness if they are not installed properly so it is important to ensure that any cracks around the installation site are covered to prevent drafts.
There are a number on the market but an ideal one for use in a garage is the MIDEA EasyCool Window Air Conditioner (Amazon link) It’s very well priced and you can pick the unit best suited for the size of your garage.
- Portable A/C unit
If there are no windows in the garage then the alternative to a window unit is a portable air conditioner. Portable air conditioners require an electricity source and use various methods of ventilation.
Another important thing to consider when setting up a pool table in the garage is what kind of flooring is out there and if the floor is even. Some garages are built on a hill and have a slight curve. If the floor is not completely even then you will need to make some provisions for the pool table to sit properly. Some pool tables have adjustable legs which make it easy to level the table. A piece of wood called a shim can also be wedged under the legs to raise them. If you want a more permanent solution then FLATJAX (Amazon link) has a great pool table level that you place under the legs and raise each leg until the table is perfectly level.
Humidity is one of the main culprits for causing a pool table to warp. If the cloth is humid it can also cause the billiard balls to roll more slowly over it. Keeping the humidity controlled in the space where the pool table is kept is essential to protecting the investment.
A humidity of between 35%-45% is a good range for keeping a pool table. If there is too much humidity in the garage then a dehumidifier can help. Modern dehumidifiers have lots of cool features including displaying the humidity levels. The TOSOT dehumidifier (Amazon link) is ideal for a large garage and it also allows you to target your ideal humidity level.
Keeping the space well ventilated can also help to reduce the humidity levels. If the HVAC system is connected to the garage then use it. Another option for adding more ventilation to the space is adding ceiling fans or standing fans.
To manage the temperature within the garage to create a more comfortable environment for playing pool and protecting the table you can consider adding more insulation. NASA TECH has great garage insulation (Amazon link) that will do a great job . Adding carpets and rugs to the floor can help to keep a cold garage floor at a warmer temperature and can also be used to create a more even stable surface for the table to sit.
The walls of the garage can be insulated in the same ways that you insulate a house or living space. This can be a complicated project. Adding foam boards to the wall and sealant around cracks is an easy DIY way to insulate the garage without installing fiberglass insulation in the walls.
In addition to having space for the pool table, the garage will also need to have enough space for the players to fully extend their pool sticks and arms to make the shot. Keeping the garage empty of cars is best so that you do not have to open the garage door as much and so that you can have the most room in the garage. Squeezing a big pool table into a tiny garage is not a good idea as it will not give the players enough room to move around.
Keeping a Pool Table in the Garage vs. Outdoors
You can find pool tables outdoors at many bars and at people’s homes. Plenty of pool tables that are outdoors are completely fine and still play well. Keeping a pool table in a garage is even better because you can have more control over the environment as far as the temperature and humidity goes.
A slate bed table is the best kind to keep in the garage because it is resistant to warping, unlike a wooden bed table. Slate tables are more expensive and a lot heavier than wooden bed pool tables, however. Even with a slate bed table, the effects of too much humidity can make it harder to play pool.
How Humidity in the Garage Effects a Pool Table
- Billiard balls roll and spin slower
- More friction can cause more damage
- The cloth may seem sticky
- Certain shots become more difficult
- Billiard balls get dirty faster
- Chalk will have a harder time sticking
- Mold can grow on the pool table
As long as you can manage the humidity within the garage then you should be able to keep the pool table in good, playable condition for years. For a more resilient pool table opt for a slate bed table, but a wooden bed will also work in the garage with a little more care.
How to Make the Garage More Comfortable
Keeping the temperature of the garage moderate is important for both preserving the quality of the pool table and keeping the playing comfortable. A pool table is a great gathering place for family and friends, so why not turn the garage into a lounge area complete with seating and a mini-fridge? Here are a few ways to make the garage better for playing pool.
- Add seating
There are going to be times when people want to sit down and take a break from playing or watching the game. Add some seating in the garage around the pool table, preferably bar chairs that are high up enough that people can easily see the gameplay
- Add a mini fridge or bar
Keep refreshments in the garage close to the pool table so that you do not have to run to the kitchen to grab anything. Having a minibar or a mini-fridge out in the garage can make the pool table a better spot for hanging out.
- Add lighting
Playing in dim lighting will be more difficult and can lead to more accidents. Keep the garage space well-lit by adding additional lighting whether that’s installing overhead lights or putting some lamps out in the garage.
The garage can be a perfect place for keeping a pool table at home for practice or pleasure. The main concern with a pool table in the garage is to keep the humidity levels low and the space at a moderate temperature. Adding a dehumidifier or air conditioning unit to the garage is a good idea. Other things you can do to make the garage a better space for playing pool is adding carpets to the floor, a mini-fridge for refreshments, insulation to the walls, and installing additional lighting.
Rob is an avid player and fan of all cue sports, particularly 8-ball, and snooker. He has competed in a few local 8-ball tournaments and although he is not a professional, he can compete with the best of them.