If you’ve played pool, you’re likely familiar with what a great time it can be. Get a few good friends, a few good drinks, and a good environment, and a few hours at a pool table makes up for a lifetime in an office cubicle. You may even be tempted to buy your own pool table- so you can have that great experience any time, and get in some practice.
So, is a pool table a good investment? A pool table can be a great investment if you want to improve your pool skills and can afford to keep it looking good. Although a pool table likely won’t increase in value over the years, with practice your billiard skill might. If this is your goal then it would be a great investment.
But when can a pool table be a bad investment? Is it possible you’re just buying on impulse? If so, does it really matter? In this article, we’ll talk about how to tell if buying a pool table is right for you, and how to make the final decision. So, without further ado, let’s get into some of the reasons you might buy a pool table, and what kind of investment it could be.
Why Buy a Pool Table
Whether or not you really need a pool table will depend on a number of factors. For those with the need, having a personal pool table affords enormous advantages. For those without that need, a pool table might just weigh you down. Here are a few advantages:
Practice: If you’re looking to get better at pool, you’ll benefit enormously from a home pool table. Having an at-home table means you’ll be able to play pool at any time and with anyone. After many hours of pool practice, which you’ll be able to get in just over a few months, you’ll likely excel most of your friends, if not all, in pool skills.
Convenience: We all know that pool hall with just the right atmosphere, drinks, and prices, and just the wrong hours. It sometimes seems that if a pool hall has everything you want, it’s bound to close at around the time your grandma goes to bed.
With a home pool table, you eliminate this problem entirely. You can come home, get some shots in, and have a few drinks with your pals any time of the day or night.
Cost: Having a pool table can be one of two things- a huge money-saver or an enormous money sinkhole. If you and your friends love playing pool, and hit up the pool hall every weekend or even more often, you’ll likely save some money.
Let’s do some math:
- Say your local pool hall charges $8 for an hour.
- If you go every weekend, two nights in a row for an hour, you’ll be spending $16 a week or $64 a month.
- Splitting the cost between four friends would only bring that cost down to $16- which is still $208 a year!
If you are taking it seriously then ideally you should be spending 600+ of a pool table – and that’s for a budget table. Some good examples are these best pool tables under $1000
|Hours Per Week|
$8 Per Hour
|Friends||Cost Each Per Year|
Over the course of a few years, that really adds up. You might end up paying thousands of dollars in pool costs over the course of only ten years of regular playing. This means that a pool table will pay for itself if you’re a frequent player.
Are There Disadvantages
Just like with any purchase, there are a few reasons you might want to avoid a pool table. These range from concerns about cost all the way to value depreciation. Consider these factors before you put in the money for a personal table:
Initial Cost: While you can find cheap, working pool tables, we recommend you go another way. Those tables will likely be made of flimsy, ugly materials, and will wear out in just a short time. Whatever you pay now for a more expensive table, you’ll get back in terms of repair savings.
Plus, the more beautiful and well-kept the table, the more you’ll get if you decide to resell it. A cheap, plastic table likely won’t be considered anything more than an old piece of junk in around ten years. A nice, wooden table is a whole different story.
Keep in mind, though, just because a table is old and made of wood, that doesn’t make it vintage. You’ll only be able to pull a really hefty price for a genuine vintage table. So, it’s less like wine and more like a bag of broccoli- good for however long you can keep it fresh.
Resell Value/Upkeep: Like we said, you can certainly keep a pool table fresh. In this case, if it’s a good-looking table, you’ll likely be able to sell it for a good price if the time ever comes. You’ll also be able to pass it down to loved ones if it should outlive you (God forbid).
Keeping it in pristine condition, however, can cost you a lot. Not to mention, there may be no repairmen in your area, so it may not be an option. Using a pool table often will put wear and tear on it, so if you can’t maintain it, expect to see depreciation in prices.
Atmosphere: This is a big one. It can determine whether or not you actually end up saving money, or just end up with a place to practice your shots and hang out with the pals once in a while.
While your basement or rec room might be comfy for you, it might not be your friends’ first choice for a Saturday night. Oh it’s air-conditioned, there’s cheap food and drinks, and you can go to sleep right on the table if you like, but what’s it missing?
Some places have that old-timey allure of the pool hall to them. Some people like to be around big crowds. Some of your friends may be single and looking to mingle. Either way, you should consider the fact that your home pool table won’t be your friends’ first choice every weekend.
What Type of Pool Table Should I Buy
If you’ve come this far, you’re likely leaning towards buying a table. In this case, it’s good to know what marks a quality pool table has and how you can buy the best possible table for your rec room. Here are some different kinds of tables and their advantages/disadvantages:
MDF Tables: Particleboard tables, like MDF, are great if you’re not concerned about resale value and just want a good place to play. They are, however, prone to warping. Expect some wear and tear over time.
The good news about particle board tables is that they’re cheap. If you’re looking for a casual alternative to the more expensive models, we’d definitely recommend taking this route. They’re great for casual players with a little bit of extra space in the house.
Slatron: Cool name, huh? Well, as it turns out, the name isn’t all that’s good about this material. Slatron is designed to mimic the high-quality standards of slate- the best choice for pool players- without driving you out of house and home.
Slatron is great if you want good, smooth shots and a relatively long-lasting table. It’s also great if you’re looking for a compromise between a table that will wear out in two years and one you’ll have to take out a second mortgage on. Most people, if they’re looking for a casual table and have the money, will want to buy a slatron table.
Honeycomb Tables: Honeycomb tables are exactly what they sound like. Now, the honeycombs are pretty much invisible to the naked eye, and they’ll likely be concealed under felt anyway, but there’s still some honeybee-like action going on here.
By making plastic tables with a honeycomb structure, pool table manufacturers cut out some of the material costs. These savings then get passed down to you. Of course, they’re not without their disadvantages. Some people consider the surface too rough.
Slate: Slate tables are like the caviar of pool tables, they really are the best pool tables! If you’re looking for a great table that will last you a long time, give you a smooth shot, and give you a fair resale value, you’re looking for a slate table.
Slate tablets are durable by virtue of their natural stone materials. They’re smooth because of the natural properties of slate- which tends to split very easily. With this combination, you’ll likely be playing for years to come.
Remember though, slate tables are not cheap. If you’re looking to get a slate table, make sure you have someone to repair it or do maintenance and make sure you can make the investment.
All in All
All in all, pool tables can be great investments if you’ve got what it takes to maintain them and keep them in proper shape. Make sure to consider the factors listed here if you’re seriously considering buying a pool table.
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.