Playing Spoiler Logo

How to Tell if a Pool Table is Made of Slate: What You Need to Know

We’re an affiliate

We are a reader-supported website and strive to recommend only the best products. Just so you know, we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Thank you if you use our links, we really appreciate you!

If you’re in the market for a new pool table, you might be wondering if a pool table is made of slate or not. Slate is a popular choice for most pool tables because it offers a perfectly flat surface and good rebound while you play pool.

However, there are also some drawbacks to slate tables compared to wood bed pool tables that you should be aware of before making your purchase. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of slate pool tables so that you can make an informed decision about which type of pool table is best for you.

Entertainment room in hawaian style with pool table, crafted wooden bar with rustic stools and palm trees

How to Determine if Your Pool Table uses Slate

There are a few ways that you can tell if your pool table is made of slate. The first thing you should do is look at the weight of the table. A slate model will be much heavier than an MDF table, so it’s probably slate if you can’t lift it easily.

You should also look at the surface of the table. If it feels smooth and even, it’s likely that the table is slate. However, if there are bumps or irregularities on the surface, it’s probably an MDF table instead.

The next thing you should do is look at the seams. A slate bed will have very thin, almost invisible seams. If the seams are thicker, it’s probably not slate.

Finally, you can try striking the surface of the table with your knuckles. If it makes a dull thudding sound, it’s probably not slate. If it makes a sharp, ringing “clack”, it’s probably slate.

Why are Pool Tables Made of Slate?

Now that you know the key features of slate and wood pool tables, you might be wondering why pool tables are made of slate. Slate is a type of rock that is used to make tables for pool because it is very smooth and durable.

Tables made of slate offer a consistent playing experience. This is important for serious players who want to be able to predict how the ball will roll. Slate is also very durable, which means that it will last for many years with proper care. This makes it a good investment if you plan on playing for a long time.

Key Features

Now that you know how to tell if a pool table is slate, let’s compare the key features of slate and wood tables. One of the main features of slate tops is that they offer a consistent experience. This means that the ball will roll in a predictable way, which is important for serious players. Slate tables are also less likely to warp over time than wood tables.

Another feature of slate models is that they offer good rebound. The ball will bounce off the table in a predictable way, which can be helpful for players who want to practice their shots.

There are also some less appealing features of slate tops. One of the main drawbacks is that they are very heavy. This can make it difficult to move the table, and it can also increase the shipping costs if you need to have the table delivered.

Another drawback to slate tops is that they can be more expensive than wood tables. If you’re on a budget, you might want to consider a wood table instead. Slate versions can often cost hundreds of dollars more than non slate tables.

Large billiard room with two tables and bar

Types of Slate Bed Tables

Now that you know the basics of slate pool tables, you might be wondering what types of slate pool tables are available. There are three main types of slate pool tables: one piece, three piece, and nine piece. One piece slate models are the most expensive and offer the best playability.

Three piece tables are less expensive but still offer a good playing surface.

Nine piece slate tables are the least expensive but do not offer as consistent of a playing surface.

How to Tell Between the Different Types?

=>The one piece slate table is made from a single slab of slate.

=>The three piece slate table has two slabs of slate that join in the middle.

=>The nine piece slate table has three slabs of slate that join in the middle and six support beams.

Key Features of Wood Pool Tables

Wood or MDF pool tables are a popular alternative to slate surfaces. One of the main advantages of a wooden pool table is that they are lighter than slate tables, so they’re easier to move. A wood pool table is also usually less expensive than a slate pool table.

There are some drawbacks to an MDF pool table that you should be aware of before making your purchase. One downside to a wood pool table is that it can warp over time, which can affect the play area.

Wood tables also don’t offer the same consistent playing surface as slate. If you’re looking for a serious game of pool, you might want to consider slate models over MDF tables.

Are Non Slate Pool Tables Good?

Non slate or wood pool tables are not as durable as slate, but they can still be a good investment. Non slate models are typically made of wood or MDF, which is a softer material than slate. This means that the surface will not be as reliable as a slate table.

However, an MDF pool table is often less expensive than its counterpart and can provide a solid play experience. If you are looking for a table that is less expensive and still offers a good experience, then a non slate pool table might be a good option.

green FAQ sticker over a white background fixed with a metal thumbtack

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a slate bed get wet?

Although it isn’t advised, a slate bed can get wet. However, it is important to make sure that the slate is completely dry before you start any pool games. Otherwise, the pool cue could slip and cause damage to the table.

Slate bed pool tables can get wet because the slate is a natural material that does not absorb water. Therefore, it isn’t the end of the world if a drink is spilled on the table.

How do I clean a slate pool table?

To clean a slate pool table, you will need to use a soft cloth and a mild cleanser. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the slate. Gently wipe down the surface of the table, and then dry it with a clean cloth.

What is the most popular type of slate bed table?

The most popular type of slate table is the one piece slate table. These tables are made from a single slab of slate, which offers the most stable and reliable experience. One piece slate models are also the most expensive type of slate table.

How heavy is a wood pool table?

A slate top pool table is going to be much heavier than a wood top pool table. This is because slate is a natural stone, and therefore, it is very dense. Slate bed tables can weigh anywhere from 700 to 1500 pounds, whereas wooden pool tables usually only weigh around 200 pounds.

What type of pool table is best?

The type of pool table that is best for you depends on your budget and how serious you are about playing pool. If you are looking for a high-quality table that offers strong and reliable play, then a slate table is the best option.

However, if you are on a budget or you’re not looking for a competitive game, then a wood table might be a better option. Ultimately, the decision comes down to personal preference.

Does pool table slate break easily?

Slate is a very strong and durable material, so it is not easy to break. However, if you hit the slate too hard with a pool cue, it can crack. Cracks in slate can be repaired, but it is best to avoid them if possible.


In conclusion, there are several ways to tell if a pool table uses a slate surface. The most obvious way is to look at the surface of the table. Slate tables have a smooth, shiny surface, while wood tables have a more textured surface.

You can also feel the difference between slate and wood by running your hand over the top of the table. Slate is smooth and cool to the touch, while wood bed tables are warm and rough. Finally, you can listen for differences in sound when striking each type of table with a pool cue. Slate makes a sharp “clack” sound, whereas wood makes a dull “thunk”.

If you’re still not sure whether or not your pool table is slate, you can always contact the manufacturer or retailer for confirmation.

Now that you know more about slate top pool tables, you can decide whether or not a slate table is right for you. Consider the pros and cons before making your decision. Thanks for reading!