Picking the Right Size Pool Table for Your Room

Pool TableOkay, so you have an extra room. Or maybe you have a designated gaming area or even a finished basement. Now you want a pool table. And who could blame you?

For decades, billiards, or pool for short, has been one of the most universally popular games. Its popularity reaches over oceans and across age lines. A great pool table will add value to your home and, without a doubt, bring joy to you, your family and friends.


 So it goes without saying that buying a pool table can be a great investment for any home. Despite this promise of life-long entertainment — or perhaps because of it — buying a pool table might seem, to some, like a daunting affair.

But it doesn't have to be.

Once you decide to invest in a table, inevitably the first question you will find yourself wonder is “what size pool table should I buy?”

Specifically, you’ll want to know what size pool table will fit in your basement or game room? After all, you not only need to fit the table into the room, but you have to have enough room to actually play.

We're here to take that worry out of the equation. After you read this article, you'll know more than just which pool table size fits perfectly in your space. You'll also know exactly how much space you'll need to play comfortably.

So let's dive right in!


Minimum Room Dimensions for Different Pool Table Sizes

Below are bare minimum room sizes you'll need for comfortable pool play based on the size of the pool table you want. Emphasis on "comfortable pool play." We'll refer to this as the "play area."

The thing most people forget to consider when picking out their pool table is the length of the cue stick they'll use. But the length of the cue stick is very important. Whether you're making a smooth, basic stroke or a crushing break shot, you don't want to pull back and find that you're bumping up against the wall. You'll want to have plenty of room for your stance and unhindered cue motion.




TABLE

SIZES


PLAYING SURFACE

MIN. ROOM SIZE BASED ON CUE LENGTH

48”

52

58

7 FT.

39” x 78”

11’3” x 14’6”

11’11” x 15’2”

12’11” x 16’2”

8 FT.

44” x 88”

11’8” x 15’4”

12’4” x 16’

13’4” x 17’

PRO - 8

46” x 92”

11’10” x 15’8”

12’6” x 16’4”

13’6”x 17’4”

9 FT.

50”x 100”

12’2” x 16’4”

12’10”x 17’

13’10” x 18’


So the bigger the better, right?

Not necessarily. When it comes to playing pool, the biggest pool table might not be the best option for you. And we're not just talking about the size of your room, either. Let's discuss the different sizes and why you might want one size over the other. Then we'll give you the fool-proof way to figure out the perfect pool table size for any room.

We'll also give you some space-saving tips that will give you even more room to work with.


What are Standard Pool Table Sizes?

Pool tables traditionally come in three sizes: 7-foot, 8-foot and 9-foot. Each sizes comes with its own strengths and — dare we say it? — play-personality.


7-Foot Pool Tables

The 7-foot pool table is probably the size the general public is most familiar with. Referred to as a "bar box," 7-footers are common coin-operated fixtures is bars and pubs. They're also favorites of North American amateur leagues and the World Eightball Pool Federation.


  • Table Size: 3.5' x 7' (42" x 84")
  • Playable Surface: 39” x 78”

 

7 foot pool table

Without taking room size into consideration (we'll discuss room size later) a 7-foot table is great if you're used to playing pool in a pub.


8-Foot Pool Tables

These are considered  "tournament" sized, but are more often than not considered "standard" pool tables. You may come across tournaments and leagues that will consider their 8-footers, "tournament tables." But it's also referred to as a "home eight" table, because it's popular with family owners. The 8-footer is one of the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) approved sizes.


  • Table Size: 4' x 8' (48" x 96")
  • Playable Surface: 44” x 88”


8 foot pool table

 

9-Foot Pool Tables

If you want the pool playing experience that's more akin to what you see on ESPN or "televised professional tournaments," then the 9-footer is the route to go. That is, only if you have the space for it. The 9-foot table is massive, pure and simple. But if you're looking to compete professionally, then you should consider the 9ft pool table.


  • Table Size: 4.5' x 8' (54" x 96")
  • Playable Surface: 50” x 100”



9 foot pool table

 Note: There is also an "oversized 8" pool table size, sometimes called a "pro-8" or listed  as an 8.5 table. The 8.5 is considered half-way between an 8' table and a 9' table, with a 46” x 92” playing size. This table size isn't very common when it comes to home pool tables, but it is an option and there are several pro and amateur leagues that will use this size.  


Which Are Regulation Size Pool Tables?

The question of "regulation size" comes up often. Is it as specific size? Not quite. Regulation size refers more to the a specific proportion, not a specific size.

Simply put, a "regulation-size pool table" is any table where the play field — or playable size — is exactly twice as long as it is wide. For instance, standard 8ft pool table dimensions of 44" x 88" would be considered regulation.


Which Pool Table Size Is Right for Me?

Another common question. And, as with a lot of things, the answer is: depends. It depends on your playing style, your experience, the room size, and why you're getting a pool table to begin with.


7-Foot Pool Tables

As we mentioned earlier, pool tables have "play personalities" — the general feel when playing on them. For some players, a 7-footer might feel "stuffy" or "congested," especially if the player is used to playing on larger tables. Balls bunch up into clusters a lot, so you have to learn how to break with these tight pockets. Players who are really good at bank shots, combos and carom shots might find playing on a 7-foot table to be invigorating.

If you play a lot of pool at bars or pubs, then you might want to consider going with an 7-footer. Having a matching pool table at home for practice definitely wouldn't hurt!


8-Foot Pool Tables

Eight-foot pool tables still cluster a lot, just less frequently than a 7-foot bar pool table size. Shots are more mid-ranged. This size is still considered 'tournament size," but they are found more in amateur and bar leagues. A lot of players consider an 8-footer to be flexible and a great common ground for all skill levels. They can be enjoyed by the majority of players, no matter what their style may be.

If you're playing in a lot of amateur tournaments and leagues — or want to — you might want to consider sticking with an regulation 8ft pool table.


9-Foot Pool Tables

By far the most challenging — and perhaps rewarding — to play on. Like we said, this is most commonly used for top tournament play, especially those that are televised.  And it's no wonder! Gameplay on an 9-footer is longer and "unapologetically athletic" with more space for balls to spread apart. Players regularly have to execute more varied and purposeful strokes. From a soft safety to ear-cracking breaks. Playing in top form on 9-foot tables requires developing a strong and effective stroke, pinpoint aim and excellent cue ball control both in speed and angle.

If you're looking to be a professional tournament player, then you would do well to stick with the 9-footer — assuming you have space for it. The 9-foot tables are common in pool halls, too. So if you frequent pool halls a lot, having a matching pool table to practice on wouldn't hurt.


Calculating How Big Your Room Needs to Be

When picking out the size of pool tables, room size is incredibly important. You'll need room to move around comfortably. You'll need room for the shot stroke. And there's other things you may need to think about — your style and size, any load-bearing columns, especially in basements, to say the least.

We talked about cue sizes before, in our choosing a cue stick buyer's guide.

 

Standard pool cues run about 57" - 58" long. If you are below average height or are purchasing for a child, look for a shorter cue; they are available at 48" and 58" lengths.

 

If you are taller than 6' 5" you may want to consider ordering a longer cue; special order cues can be purchased up to 61" long.

 

But the length of the cue stick is also important when calculating the minimum room size.


So Let's Talk About Pool Cue Size

Regulation standard pool cues are between 57 and 58 inches. A lot of sellers assume you'll be playing with standard cues. But there are plenty of variations to match preferences and playing style. Some people prefer longer, lighter cues; others prefer shorter, heavier cues.

"Shorty cues" are also an option and come as small as 36, 48 and 52 inches in length. These are great options if your pool table is primarily for your kids. But they'll also come in handy if you need to get around load-bearing obstacles in a room.

But your cue's length is important in determining the playable space, because you'll be pulling back for the strike stroke. You don't want a wall to interfere with the pull-back.

When calculating how much room you'll need for a pool table, you'll want to take in consideration the length of the pool cue you'll typically be using. All these considerations can seem daunting, but there's a simple equation to help you:


The "Cue Times Two" Method: A Fool-Proof Equation for Pool Table Room Dimensions

It's not often we get to use the math we learned in junior high. But this is one such time.

 

Play Area Length = playing surface length + (cue length *2)

Play Area Width = playing surface width + (cue length *2)

 

Remember "play area" is defined as the space you need to comfortably play pool without hitting obstructions or walls. Some people say you should tack on an additional 3 inches to allow for the stroke. But this is optional and depends on your playing stance and style.


Assuming you want to buy a 7-foot bar-style pool table and you're playing with a 48-inch pool cue:

 

Play Area Length = 78 + (48 * 2) = 174"

Play Area Width = 39 + (48 * 2)= 135"

 

A comfortable "play area" for a 7-foot pool table with a 48-inch cue would need to 135" x 174", or 11'3" x 14'6".


So does this equation pan out? Let's take a look at our chart again:




TABLE

SIZES


PLAYING SURFACE

MIN. ROOM SIZE BASED ON CUE LENGTH

48”

52

58

7 FT.

39” x 78”

11’3” x 14’6”

11’11” x 15’2”

12’11” x 16’2”

8 FT.

44” x 88”

11’8” x 15’4”

12’4” x 16’

13’4” x 17’

9 FT.

50”x 100”

12’2” x 16’4”

12’10”x 17’

13’10” x 18’


You don't have to commit this chart to memory. Just remember "cue times two" and add the length, then width. These are your minimum pool table room dimensions.


5 Easy Steps for how to pick the right size pool table

Follow these tips to make the process of getting your pool table even easier!


Plan Ahead

Take the guesswork out of this process. Leave as little to chance as possible.


  1. Mock up the space you're planning on using.
  2. Measure and mark-off the area where the table with sit.
  3. Take your standard pool-playing stance over the area.
  4. Consider the length of the cue when pulled all the way back for the strike. (If you have your pool cues already, this will help tremendously.
  5. Go all the way around the table marking, including the corners. The more angles you can get in, the better.

Rinse and repeat until you've found the perfect spot and the perfect size.


Space-Saving Considerations — The Convertible Pool Table

If you're short on available rooms, you can try combining functionality. Your pool table can also act as a regular dining table.

The Bedford pool table from Imperial Billiards combines an industrial style with a contempo-modern rustic flare. And it comes with a dining top that lets you have the best of both worlds. This is the perfect way to maximize your space, especially if you have a large, open concept living space or a large dining room.

 

You also have the option of including a storage bench that can hold your billiard accessories, but also doubles as seating.


The Bedford isn't the only two-in-one solution we offer. There are several others to match your style and home's decor.

Leave It to the Pros — White Glove Installation

Pool tables are pretty heavy. Even the smaller 7-footers can weigh between up to to 600 pounds. So take advantage of our free shipping and white-glove installation service. A two-person team of professionals will handle delivery, unpacking, final placement and debris removal to an off-site receptacle. Some pool tables come with free installation service to make sure your pool table experience is off to a spectacular start.

Owning your own pool table should be fun. At Family Leisure, our aim is to make the process as painless, effortless and hassle-free as possible. If at any time you have questions about pool tables, don't hesitate to give us a call or stop by one of our stores.





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