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Check Your Pool Table Cushions/Bumper to Fix and Replace them

Due to the significant importance, it’s not a wise thing to ignore dead cushions on your pool table. They’ll impact the game in such a way that you’ll find it annoying. In fact, the whole fun will be marred by their inconsistency if you don’t repair or change them. One rebound will be faster than your expectations while the other one will be way slower.

So, a laissez-faire approach in this case won’t work. You need to figure out are your bumpers bad?

How To Check Pool Table Cushions/Bumpers?

It’s a wise thing to do, first ensure that the fault lies in the bumpers. Or the inconsistent playability is caused by them. Because changing them takes time and costs you a few bucks.

So, to know if your pool table bumpers are bad, you need to perform a little inspection of other parts.

Loosen Rail Bolts

Maybe it’s not because of the bumpers but the rails bolts that have loosen up and causing this issue. Every billiard table has a slate with rail bolts that are bolted during the assembly.

Sometimes these bolts loosen up and cause vibration. Due to this vibration, the ball does not come off with consistent speed after hitting the bumpers. And one can easily mistake it as an issue with the bumpers.

So let’s first check out these loose bolts are not causing the issue. If you fight them loose, tight them and then check the result.

Cushion Installation

Maybe you have only recently installed cushions and you are wondering why aren’t they performing as per your expectations. It could be the case that cushions are not properly installed.

Or you have over pulled the cloth so that the height of the cushion rubber is too low. In this case too, the ball is not going to travel consistently after hitting the cushion despite the fact cushions are new.

Also, do watchout for some other mistakes you might have made while installing the cushion. If you got it installed by a professional, the wise thing is to recall him and get the cushions checked once again.

What to Do If Everything’s Fine?

Now, once you have ensured that everything is fine, you are left with no other option except to change the cushions. But do you know how to replace a pool table cushion/bumper?

It’s a long process and you must have adequate knowledge regarding it before you take matters in your hands. Or else, you can call an expert to assist you in this.

I’m dividing this process into two parts so you can understand it in an unambiguous manner.

Phase 1: Unassembling

In this phase, we’ll unscrew the rails and take out the cushions from it so we can put a new one.

  1. Unscrew the rails in the table. Pull them up and out so they pop off.
  2. You can use any sharp object to slice the length of the rail.
  3. Remove the feather strip and some part of the felt by hand.
  4. Remove the remaining part by using a plier to unstaple the cloth.
  5. Remove the facing of the rail and then the rubber (cushion).
  6. Then use a scraper to remove the remaining elements to make it clean.

Phase 2: Assembling

And now, in phase 2, we’ll put things back together with a new cushion.

  1. Apply any adhesive on the rail and the new cushion you are going to install.
  2. Let the glue sit for a few minutes.
  3. Then lay out the new rubber on top of the wood.
  4. Make sure it’s perfectly aligned. Or else, keep trying to get it perfect.
  5. Mark the ends of the cushion using a sharp edge. To place your new facing, follow the angle of the rail on the top.
  6. Then cut the ends of the pool table cushion using a sharp knife.
  7. Now glue on the facings and trim the excess.
  8. And now, place a new strip of cloth over the channel in your rail, at the position from where the feather strip came off.
  9. Knock the feather strip using a hammer. Trim the excess felt inside the feather strip.
  10. Staple the cloth in such a way that it feels snug, neither too light nor too tight.
  11. And in the last step, staple the other end of the felt to the rail.

If you have never done this before, I recommend hiring a professional and seeing how he does that. Or, you can go to YouTube and see the complete process in real time.

Opening up the rails by yourself without prior experience can be unsafe. However, if you have grasped the details and watched a few videos, you may give it a try.

But is replacing the pool cushions the only solution, if they have soften up? Or maybe they are too hard?

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Bumper On A Pool Table?

Though a lot depends on the cost of the cushion/bumper you are buying and if you seek services of a professional for this purpose or not, but a general estimate is between $50 to $100.

It’s nothing, considering that a thing will last for at least a decade. Therefore, always go for quality bumpers/cushions.

Can You Soften Up Or Harden Your Pool Cushions?

To my great surprise, a lot of people online are coming with ingenious ways to experiment with their pool cushions. Some believe they can soften up their cushions in the same way they do with their auto rubber parts.

Some people want to harden their cushions further.

The thing is, there is no other solution. Cushions need to be replaced after every 20-25 years, once they are dead. If your cushions are new, and not up to the quality, you can ask for a refund.


You can’t modify them no matter how hard you try. And worst, amid your experimentation, you can incur damage to other pool table parts which can be far more expensive than a decent quality cushion that costs between $50 to $100.


How long do pool table bumpers/cushions last?
Decent quality cushions last for at least two decades.

How much does it cost to replace bumpers/cushion on a pool table?
Between $50 to $100, you can install new cushions on your Pool table.

How to soften pool table bumpers?
All random ways to soften/harden/loosen your cushions should be avoided. If they are not up to the quality, get a refund. If they are old, install new ones. There is no other way around to fix cushions on your pool table.

About Maryam Shaw

Hello Everyone! I am Maryam, the reason behind creating this website is to help people with the detailed information and reviews about sports products