At Everything Billiards & Spas, one of our mainstays is the sale and maintenance of new and preowned pool tables. While we also sell cue sticks and a variety of other billiard accessories, we have been servicing pool tables for over 20 years and in the retail market since 2009. Suffice to say, we have a great deal of experience and have learned a lot over the past couple of decades.
There are a few things I train my service techs to educate our customers on during the installation and assembly of their new or used billiard table. These things will help ensure a better long-term experience for you and all the new friends you might acquire with your new investment. While this is by no means a comprehensive guide for maintenance, it’s a great starting point for years of quality play on and appreciation of your table.
And pool table felt is one of the most important aspects of how your table plays. Felt, cloth, rag, carpet . . . whatever you choose to call it (we prefer cloth or felt), there are three main types that we stock and sell regularly at Everything Billiards: Simonis, Hainsworth Elite Pro, and Championship Invitational. Each has its place in the world of billiards and one of our most frequently asked questions is “What kind of felt should I put on my table?”
SIMONIS & HAINSWORTH ELITE PRO
So let’s begin with the good stuff; Simonis and Hainsworth Elite Pro are our premium worsted wool cloth choices. This pool table felt features a higher thread count and tighter weave with a slick playing surface that aids your billiard balls in rolling straighter and faster, giving you the premium experience in pool table play. These clothes also typically last 8-10 years with proper maintenance, twice that of Championship Invitational. We always recommend that customers installing felt on 9′ pool tables or 10-12′ snooker and carom tables choose this type of cloth.
Whether you prefer Simonis or Hainsworth, I’d estimate that over 70-75% of our pool table customers choose to upgrade their felt due to the increased value and quality of play. Most league or tournament level players prefer Simonis, with its 3+ centuries of manufacturing experience and featuring the truest play coupled with a tear, scuff, and spill resistance. Likewise, Hainsworth boasts comparable construction but its strong anti-fade material and true stain-resistance make it the perfect choice for families.
• 24-25 oz weight
• Anti-pill worsted wool construction
• Hainsworth features true stain-resistance
• Simonis is the choice of the pros
Care and Maintenance
Each time you hit the cue ball with a freshly chalked tip, loose chalk particles fall onto your cloth and over time become embedded into the fabric, eventually making their way under the felt to create an abrasive layer between the cloth and the slate. This not only wears down the fabric but over time builds up and will eventually affect the quality of play. I’ve often found up to 1/16th of an inch of chalk dust on the slate when recovering a frequently used pool table.
The best way to avoid this and preserve the longevity of your worsted wool cloth is the Aramith Fusion innovative Simonis X-1 Felt Cleaner. With a curved ergonomic grip and flat bottom textile fabric, the X-1 works through static electricity and capillarity to extract the fine particles of chalk dust left on and embedded in the felt after a few games. Once you use the cleaner to extract the chalk dust from your table, it is simple and easy to clean by vacuuming or beating the dust out by gently tapping against your hand or a hard surface. *It is not recommended to use liquid cleaner on the X-1. This felt cleaner will last for years with proper care, unlike a bottle of spray cleaner!
Lastly, we always recommend using Aramith Billiard Balls with quality worsted wool felt. More to come on this in a future blog, but just know that a good set of billiard balls will wear your cloth significantly less than a cheap set of polyester balls.
CHAMPIONSHIP INVITATIONAL W/ TEFLON
Our standard felt offering, Championship Invitational is considered recreational grade cloth, perfectly suitable for the novice player who doesn’t necessarily care as much about perfection with the roll of the balls. It’s also a great economical choice for those who can’t afford to spring for the more expensive worsted wool option.
We include Championship Invitational with every pool table we sell and it’s considered a higher quality fabric than what many companies give you when purchasing. Bathed in Teflon to help protect for stains and for increased durability, we find that most people can keep this felt for at least 3-5 years before needing to replace it. The blended wool construction gives the cloth a bit of texture, meaning the balls will roll a bit slower. This is often the right choice, then, for 7′ pool tables, or for tables residing in apartments or residential spaces (other than pool halls) where the increased usage necessitates yearly recovery.
• 21 oz Weight
• Blended wool (75% wool and 25% nylon)
• Teflon coating for added durability
Care and Maintenance
With Championship Invitation felt, we recommend using a Quick Clean foaming spray and microfiber cloth to wipe down the fabric from time to time. The spray is designed to attract dust, and it’s evident how well Quick Clean works when you take a look at the microfiber cloth after cleaning (and at your freshly cleaned pool table felt). Not only is it extremely effective at attracting dust, but the spray foam is also manufactured with an evaporating agent so the cloth will dry quickly and be ready for play within 10 minutes. We often use Quick Clean to wipe down the rails and aprons on the showroom models as well.
Finally, one last tip before signing off; when your cloth is being installed, ask for a square piece of cloth to use as a “brake pad.” This is a square of fabric to place under the cue ball when launching for the break shot. Most people don’t realize that when you strike the cue ball as hard as many do when breaking, the ball spins and heats the cloth up. This can leave streaks, divots, and burn marks in your felt; using the brake pad can do wonders for maintaining the felt and keep it looking and playing well for years to come.
We offer a variety of pool table models, styles, and sizes to fit anyone’s dream game room – shop our Brunswick, Olhausen, California House, and preowned tables. It’s important to us that you feel confident about your investment and enjoy your new table for decades to come. Start your journey now and request a personal price quote today!