How to Level a Pool Table – FULL GUIDE

  • By: Rob
  • Date: May 12, 2022
  • Time to read: 11 min.
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Is your pool table not level? Many people think that it is too difficult and time-consuming, or they think a professional is required to level a pool table.

You’ll be happy to know that this isn’t taxing on your time, your pocket and its easy to perform.

Want to learn how to level a pool table? It’s a skill you need to acquire if you own a table. Maybe the floor or carpet has become slightly uneven with the weight of the table. Maybe you have moved your table to a new location, maybe it was always unlevel.

Learn this and reap these benefits without spending a cent, whether you have Brunswick, Olhanusen, Diamond or even a fat cat pool table – You can level any pool table with these step by step instructions.

How to Level a Pool Table

We will walk you through how to check if your table is level with and without tool. Use these to determine where the table needs to be adjusted, we will also go into detail on how to level a wooden pool table and a 1 piece and 3 piece slate pool table

Learn more on how to level a pool table below.

Required tools and materials to level a pool table

Before you start doing anything, you should collect all the relevant tools and materials. Many people end up complaining that the task is challenging, yet they ignore this. Obtain them in time, and you will find it much easier to level your pool table. 

Figure out which method below is best for you to determine how your pool table leveling effort is going. You can use these pool table level tools to determine if a pool table is level without a using a bubble level. The essential tools and materials that are required.

  • Marbles
  • Small pieces of window glass
  • Cue ball
  • Smartphone with the Bubble level app
  • Wooden shim

Ways to check if your pool table is even

A few inexperienced players see this as a no-brainer. However, you can be shocked by how they go wrong when they jump into the leveling process before identifying what they need to correct. It is absurd.  There are several simple ways you can test whether your table is straight.

Cue Ball technique

If you have no special tool but have your cue ball, you are good to go. Simply roll your ball over any section of your pool table and watch the path that it takes. Does the ball cue move straight? If yes, you can be happy that your table is likely to be leveled.

For you to be entirely sure that everything is okay, repeat this same process on every side and corner of the table. 

If you notice the ball is not moving towards the intended direction, you need to move to the leveling stage. One possible solution is that you apply the shim fine-tuning on that side.

Marble Technique

Another easy way by which you can evaluate where your table is even or not is using a piece of glass and a marble. To measure the balance, place the piece of glass at the center of your billiards table and put a marble where it can cross it with ease. 

If the marble stays on the glass, do not blame your performance on the evenness of your table.

However, if your marble rolled, you have a reason to believe that the table is not even, and that may have had a negative influence on your success. 

In this case, my advice is that you learn how to adjust your pool table towards the marbles rolling direction. (Find more on how to do this below).

Carpenter’s Level

Better still, if you have a basic carpenter’s level, you can also use it and get great results. It doesn’t matter whether you have analog or digital levels. Both of them deliver exceptional results.

Which of them do you have? If you have an analog carpenter’s level, remember that it has bubbles that can orient between two lines whenever the surface of your table is even. 

However, if it is uneven, the level skews on one side.

As you can see, these levels can help you to know not only whether your table is straight but also by how much. 

What’s more, you can understand with ease the exact direction of the place where there is a problem. Only be sure to measure all sides of your table. 

But note that one leg is usually not leveled as the rest to allow you ball to roll as required.

Smartphone level

Analog carpenter’s levels are indeed the easiest ones to get and are the cheapest, but many people still do not have them. Nevertheless, almost everyone in the present age has at least one smartphone. Use this properly and even get the results that you desire with significant ease.

Download any free or cheap app on your smartphone. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to do this. In most cases, all you will be required to do is lay your smartphone on the surface of your pool table and check to see the exact level.

If you wanted to know how to level a pool table without a level, they here are some great options.

How to level an MDF pool table

When leveling a pool table the first thing you should do is consult your tables manual or check your pool tables legs, look to see if you table ahs its own leg levelers, if so, leveling your pool table will be much simpler.

Start with Owner’s Manual

If you carefully read your tables manual, if the table has leg levelers or not.

It is highly probable that your table is adjustable. If this is the case, you can make it level regardless of the surface it is on. You can visually check for metal plates under the pool table legs.

How to level a pool table with adjustable legs

Pool tables with adjustable legs require different treatment. If you want to raise or lower any side of the table, screw the feet either clockwise or anti-clockwise.

If you are unsure if your table legs are adjustable, do not worry. Look at the legs of your pool table, if they have metal discs under the legs then there is a good chance its adjustable.

Remember to always check how level your pool table is using a bubble spirit level or one of the techniques above.

Use the readings to determine which leg to level needs to be adjusted.

For example, if the ball rolls strongly and unnaturally towards the corner pocket, then that leg would need to be adjusted  

Using wooden shims to level a pool table

In the case you discover that it your table does not have adjustable legs, look for shims and other small adjustments that can help you to level it without any difficulty.

Use a spirit level to determine which leg is lower and gently hammer in a wooden shim between the bed frame and table frame.

Make small adjustments until you have your table perfectly level everywhere.

How to install and level a pool table with leg levelers

Installing leg levelers is a great way to level a pool table. It will require some work to install.

Installing these threaded levelers under your table legs will give you an adjustable leg leveler that you can adjust as and when needed.

How to level pool table slate

Here are some step-by-steps on how to level a 3-piece slate pool table and a 1 piece slate pool table

To level a slate pool table

  • Thin wooden shims
  • A hammer
  • A screwdriver
  • A bubble Level

Extra for leveling a 3-piece slate pool table

  • A paint scraper
  • Beeswax
  • A hairdryer or handheld propane torch

The Steps for leveling a slate pool table are:

1)  Leveling the pool table frame is essential for making sure your slate pieces stay level. Make adjustments along each axis and then from corner to corner of the pool table frame, ensuring that everything fits tightly together without any gaps. You may need to loosen or tighten some screws to ensure the frame fits square and flush together.

2) Assemble the slate onto your pool table frame. Make sure you line up all screw holes – rotating slate if needed! If you can leave the setup to sit overnight it will help with the accuracy of the leveling – not too essential though.

3) The next step in installing your slate is to screws the slate pieces into the table frame, using the slate screws. The screws should be tight, but for now, don’t do them too tight.

  • For screwing in a 1-piece slate, i would recommend you screw the slate piece from corner to corner first.
  • For screwing in a 3-piece slate, i would recommend to screw the holes opposite each other. the move onto the next slate piece.
  • Its important not to use any power tools when screwing as aligning the slates and protecting the table frame need to be considered.

4) Next you can use a bubble level to make sure your slates are level. Make sure that the bubble sits in the center of the bubble level, ensure the slates are perfectly flat and level.

  • Check in a few areas on the slate – When the bubble is perfectly between the lines of the slate, tighten the screws for that slate piece

5) If your slate is not level then on the lower end you need to use shims. loosen the screws just a bit and tap them into place with using the hammer. carefully tap the shim between the slate and the table frame then tighten screw.

  • If the table is very uneven on one said then consider raising one leg to adjust the table.

6) Once all in the slate pieces are level and screwed into place,  go around again with the bubble spirit level to double check all sections of the table bed, ensuring the bubble stays in the center – once happy, screw all screws tightly.

7)Dealing with the joints that connect the slate pieces

  • When the pool slate is level, the sides of the slate will connect flush against each other. A 3-piece slate needs to be completely flush – you may need to tighten screw to achieve a completely flush result.

8) Once you are happy, its time to heat some beeswax and drip it over where the slate pieces meet. When the wax cools down you can use the paint scraper tool to scrape off any excess wax, making the joint between the two slate pieces nice and flush.

Now you have leveled you slate pool table, it will be time to add cloth to it.

How to level a pool table with adjustable legs

But if the problems persist, you should raise the leg of your table by one degree.. 

This can only work if it is an adjustable table pool. To verify this change, you can leave your carpenter’s level on the table. You can lower it back if you notice this change is too much.

If you deem it necessary, make the next move and adjust the other legs as well. 

As you can see, you may have to do many tweaks to be able to achieve your goal. 

This is partly a trial-and-error exercise.

Perseverance is the key if you want a perfectly flat playing surface. 

How to level a pool table without adjustable legs

If your table doesn’t have adjustable legs then we have to do it the old fashioned way. You’ll need to get yourself some shims (like the ones in the picture). 

Insert them under the legs until you are sure your table is completely level.

straight table

The reason I prefer shims is that these small, tapered shards of wood can correctly fill the gaps on your table. This way, you can use them to increase the height without cutting or destroying any part of the legs. 

Also, you can find these shards of wood with ease. Almost all hardware sells them in their carpentry sections or home goods store, and of course on Amazon.

When you have made up your mind that you want to use shims, be sure you get a few people to help you. One or two people are enough. 

How to level a pool table without adjustable legs

  1. Determine which leg needs adjusting
  2. Get help to lift each corner of your table. 
  3. Place a shim underneath the table bed. 
  4. Once you are done, they gently lower it.
  5. Check again to see if your pool table is level.
  6. Remember that you might need to add more shims until your pool table is well-balanced. 
  7. If it is necessary, move to the other corners and do the same.

It’s important to check if your table is level after every adjustment.

How to level a pool table on an uneven floor

There are a few different ways that you can level a pool table on an uneven floor. You can use shims, which are thin pieces of wood or plastic, to adjust the height of the legs on one side of the table.

Another way to level a pool table is by using pool table leg leveling pads or cups. These are small, rubber discs that fit over the end of the table leg. They can be adjusted to make the table level.

Using a spirit level or a digital spirit level will help make sure your table is completely level.

How level does a pool table need to be

A pool table must be completely level in order to play properly. If it is not level, the balls will not move the way they are supposed to and the game will be ruined.

Even if a pool table is just a little bit unlevel, it can ruin a game of pool. The best way to make sure your table is level is to use a level.

If your table is not level, you may be able to adjust it yourself. This article is full of actionable ways to help level a pool table to your balls roll true on it.

How much does it cost to level a pool table

The cost to have a professional come to your home to level you pool table will depend on the type of table you have. As an average, you may be looking to pay between $50 and $100. If you have a slate table, the cost will be increased more as precision leveling will be needed to align and level the slates. 

However, it is possible to level a pool table for a minimum cost and sometimes free by following these steps within this article.

How to avoid a common leveling problem

During the process of leveling your pool table and adjusting your shims, if you are not careful, you will most likely be loosening many slate screws. This can cause the screws to start spinning when you go to tighten. If this happens, you can go for longer slate screws. 

If that fails to work, I use the masonry bit to change the angle of the hole to allow me to hit a ‘new’ wood altogether. Other people suggest that you can fill holes with a dowel. 

While that is true, I have found that changing the angle is much more useful than this other method. It is less frustrating and does not strip out repeatedly.

Conclusion

I trust that all of us now feel confident now with how to level a pool table, whether they have adjustable legs or not. Remember that sometimes people complain that their billiards tables are crooked when indeed all they need is to fix the height or some other minor issues, which, of course, are enough to throw them off balance.

Its a good idea to check the balance of your table frequently. 

This way, you will be able to diagnose problems at the right time when you can solve them with significant ease and without spending too much time. 

Use the above methods and consult your owner’s manual whenever necessary,to make sure you always engy a game on a perfectly leveled table.