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How to Replace Pool Table Cloth or Felt

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Playing pool is a favorite pastime of many. One of the cornerstones of having an enjoyable game of pool is ensuring that your table is always in as good condition as possible. Although the majority of a pool table is made of hardwood, the felt is one of the most important components to ensure a flawless game. If the felt is out of place, torn, creased, or otherwise malfunctioning, it can quickly ruin your games. Replacing your pool table’s cloth or felt may seem like an impossible task to do correctly, but worry not, we have prepared steps to help you with this task. Read below to find out how to replace your pool table’s cloth or felt without any problems. Please note that not all tables are the same (see pool table sizes and slate vs non slate pool table), so some aspects may be different from your particular table. If you’re not sure what kind of table yours is, take a look at our article about how to tell if a pool table is slate for more information.

Steps Needed to Replace the Table’s Cloth

wooden toolbox with tools. isolated on white.Disassemble the Pool Table

Before anything else is done, the disassembling of the table is essential. Therefore, ensure you remove all bolts and pocket liners that position the rails of the table. The bolts are usually located beneath a table. The rails are generally removed since it is a vital part. Remember, not all tables have similar rails. They differ depending on each type of table you have, so if questions arise refer to the instruction manual for more in-depth information.

Old Felt Removal

As the years pass, the table felt will wear out much more quickly than other pool table components. Removing the felt can usually be accomplished with a staple remover (if stapled to the table). If the felt is glued, you can simply pull it off, careful with the felt in the pockets. If you’re planning on replacing the pocket felt, you don’t have to be as careful with the pockets.

Related: What Does Chalk Do in Pool?

Preparing the Slate

Once you have removed the felt, you should be presented with the table’s slate. This is used to provide a smooth base for the felt to be attached. It’s important to thoroughly clean the slate to ensure a solid connection between the slate and the new felt. You can use a dry cloth to wipe off any dust that has accumulated on the slate. Use a putty knife or something similar to remove any glue or other residue. Pay close attention to the area near the pockets.


The size of a table should be measured using a measuring tape. Do not take measurements exactly but instead add a few extra inches to avoid running out of material later. After obtaining these measurements, you can now buy your table’s cloth depending on your color choice. Please note that the felt for a pool table is a special material that is often sold as a pool cloth or something similar. Regular felt will not work on a pool table.

box cutter isolated on a white backgroundCloth Cutting

After buying your color choice felt, let it sit lying on a table. Then, try to handle any roughness or bumps underneath your felt. It should be smooth and plain. Now, cut it according to measurements taken earlier using sharp scissors.

Staple the Felt (If Wooden Layer)

At this point, most people tend to look for a professional to carry out this step. That does not mean that you cannot do it by yourself at your home. It only requires assistance from a second person. This is because it involves a lot of work right from stapling to cutting. Always ensure you are careful when doing this step to avoid it being done incorrectly. Please note that this is only possible if your table has a wooden layer, such as particleboard that will allow stapling.

Gluing Surfaces of a Cloth

Since your tables do not have a layered board and you select to use glue, you should clean your surface with a dry cloth. Besides, ensure the placement of your felt is done smoothly just after using glue has been done. Cutting and gluing small portions as you lay the cloth will make the job easier and faster. Trying to lay the entire cloth over a pre-glued area will inevitably cause creases and problem areas. Having completed that, now cut the edges to form carefully. Lastly, glue them to prevent wear.

Replace the Rails

Finally, rail replacement is essential. Your rails should be re-felted along with the pockets. Taking your time and carefully replacing the felt in these areas is important to ensure the best fit. Once you have completely re-felted the table, rails, and pockets, you can replace the rails and get ready to play some pool on your feels-like-new pool table. Also, if you’re interested read this article to learn more about some of the best pool tables for small spaces.


To sum up, all these above-listed steps should be followed without skipping any of them for a process to succeed. Therefore, each step is crucial to successfully replacing a table felt. Notably, professionals are usually recommended to work on each step, although you can do it yourself. Playing with your newly felted pool table will change your experience. Before starting, ensure the table is still level, test all of your work, and have fun!