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How to Tell If a Pool Table is Slate or Wood

Anyone who has ever played pool games, they know right away whether the pool table has slate or wood.

All those players who are regular pool club goers or they play at the pubs; they know what wood and slate on the pool table mean. But anyone who is not aware of these differences, I am here to help them.

Slate pool tables are heavy, expensive, offers high quality gameplay and are long-lasting whereas wood pool tables are lighter than slate, cheaper, quality of the game is not as high as slate and lasts long only if taken proper care.

Slate or Wood

In today’s article, we are going to talk about how you can differentiate between wood and slate and how they affect the quality of the game. Many beginners also know slate very well because slate provides more quality and gameplay effect.

While wood is more of a cost-wise option and it provides average quality of gameplay. Let’s find out how you can tell whether your pool table has slate or wood without taking the felt (the cloth on the surface of the table) off.


When we are talking about the differences, the few major pointers are the price worth, quality, gameplay, and portability.

If you understand these differences, you will be able to tell whether your beloved pool table is made up of slate or wood without even taking the felt off.

It is a very useful trick. This trick comes in handy when you are purchasing the used pool table.


Everyone knows that slate pool tables are expensive. One of the reasons for you to identify any slate pool table is the price. The price value is more because of the MDF bodies which are covering not only the surface of the slate but also all around it.

Nowadays more markets has a place for the slate which comes with the hardwood body. It makes the finish look of the slate very attractive, not to forget the quality of the play it provides. That is why the price gets from $1000 to as high as $20,000.

While the wood pool tables are cheaper cost wise; mainly because they are made out of the wood laminate. Though the wood contains MDF bodies as well, that does not make the playing surface any more than slate itself. Usually, you will see that the wood pool tables cost $200 to $1000. So, if you are looking for a budget-friendly pool table then wood pool tables are your best choice.


As I told you earlier, slate bed provides so much better result in respect to the gameplay because the grains in the rock are 100% flat and original and parallel.

It makes the ball move smoother and quicker, just as you want your object and cue ball to work. But in case of a wood pool table or non-slate pool tables, the gameplay gets effective of the fact that the grains are randomly oriented and blocky.

This causes a lot of trouble in keeping the smoothness of the shot intact. When the surface is not as smooth as you wish then how one can accept that the felt will also do some trick in the playing of the shot.

I will repeat this that if you wish to experience the best quality of play then opt for the slate pool table and if you are not that much interested in the quality of the play, then you can always go with the wood pool table.

When you are not sure about the fact that what your pool table is made of, you can guess easily by the nature of the gameplay play on it.

If your game is being played smoothly and you observe no roughness in the movement of the balls, then you will know that slate is used as the base of the pool table.


Portability means the easiness in movement. Usually, this point comes in use when you want to shift from one place to another remember; carrying the slate or the wood makes a huge difference.

Everyone knows that slate pool tables are heavy, and they are not easy to move around with. When you are moving your pool table from one place to another, carrying of the slate is very difficult not to mention those pool tables which are made out of three slates which are becoming rather more popular as it provides more stability and quality in the gameplay.

An average slate can weight anywhere between 250 kg to over 550 kg. It is not an easy choice to move around with. That is why all those pool tables which have slate anthem are typically very heavy to even lift properly, let alone the movement of them. You cannot carry them alone; you need help from another person.

Whereas wood pool table is an excellent choice when it comes to portability factor. They are not only light in weight as compared to the slate but also provide easy access to portability as you can take them anywhere by yourself.

Even a full-size wood pool table is easier than slate pool tables. The wood one usually weighs as less as 100 kg to 200 kg or little more. Now think of it as compared to the slate which weighs around 500 kg or plus.

Wood pool tables are easy to store as well so that only adds to the benefits of the wood.

So, when you are asked about the difference between the two, you can easily guess that whichever pool table is heavier, that one is slate without any doubt.


In a quality sense, there is no comparison of a slate pool table with the wood pool table, to begin with. Slate provides so much better quality of play that it becomes evident that you have purchased an expensive item but a much more accurate and righter item.

Slate is resistant to liquid spill when there is any such incident; all you have to do is to change the cloth of the table, and that’s it. It is made to last long with you. Slate provide better play because of the making of it; all natural to the core.

When you hit hard on it, the slate provides proper play. Trust me; it will last long with you even if you play rough on it.

While the wood; let me put it this way, are very much prone of breaking when put under any pressure. So, you must remember not to put too much pressure on it while you are playing. Otherwise, it can develop a crack or two.

They are not made to last long but with moderate play and very good care and no whatsoever spills of liquid, I think they can last a good period. Wood is touchy when it comes to different types of temperatures, so whether it is too cold or too hot or even humid, wood is very likely to get affected by it.

You must remember to take special care of the wood pool tables otherwise they will not last that long and will get damage.


I believe that differentiating between the wood pool table and slate pool table is not that hard, but to a not trained eye, it may seem a lot.

If you learn the factor mentioned above and apply them when you are trying to figure out whether the table is slate or wood, I believe that you will succeed, and you will get amazed at how easy it was to tell the difference in the first place.

Getting to know about your pool table is excellent to get connected with it. All the factors mentioned above come in handy when you are purchasing a used pool table, and you wish to understand more about your 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