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CHOOSING THE RIGHT TABLE

An information resource for a made-to-order pool table

Sub-page Contents

Pool Table Size

Slate bed or wood bed

Type of Diner Top

Drop pockets or retractable nets

Wide or narrow base

Slimline pool dining tables

Metal or wood legs

Choosing a pool dining table

Links to Pool Table Pages

 

Pool table size

Please note that for UK competition pool the terms 6ft, 7ft and 8ft refer to the approximate dimensions of the outer table carcass and not the play bed. Although there are no formally agreed industry standards, B.A.P.T.O (British Association of Pool Table Operators) set out appropriate fixed dimensions for competition play and their website gives information on this. Whereas for an undersize 5ft and 4.5ft version, we equate to the precise dimensions of the machined play bed (slate or 25mm MDF). This can cause confusion in that, for example, a 5ft table is only 6 inches less than a 6ft table. Moreover, as most pool tables sold on the Internet are imported (universal) pool tables, actual dimensions are conflated with American pool and will vary considerably. As bespoke table makers we can create any pool table dimensions to your instructions. However the matrix below shows the measurements we ordinarily work to. Before you contemplate your own project you should first refer to this sizing matrix and be satisfied that the size of table will fit your room space.

Standard Pool Dining Table Sizes in Inches

 

4.5ft

5ft 6ft 7ft 8ft
Bed dimensions

54 x 27

60 x 30 66 x 35.5 75 x 39 86 x 44.5
Cueing dimensions

51 x 24

57 x 27 63 x 32.5 72 x 36 83 x 41.5
Dining dimensions

60 x 33

66 x 36 72 x 41.5 81 x 45 92 x 50.5


diagram of pool table dimensions

Play height 31ins. Dining height 32ins (can be varied)

Slate bed or wood bed

If you have the space to accommodate a larger pool dining table (7ft or 8ft) most of the advertised pool dining tables will be slate bed tables. Slate will literally last forever.

If it is Italian quarried slate, it will be perfectly machined to the various standards that satisfy those nationally agreed by the billiards governing bodies. BAPTO (British Association of Pool Table Operators) regulates competition standards for pub-type pool.

Snooker and American pool have their own governing bodies, where standards focus on full size tables (12ft for snooker or 9ft for American pool) although standards can be arbitrarily and proportionately reduced to fit a pool dining table.

Wood bed (or composition MDF) tables provide an alternative for pool dining tables. They are normally associated with smaller low price tables. In recent years there has been a flooding of the global market by far east manufacturers. By using much lighter materials they able are to mass produce, package and distribute tables with a supply chain essentially direct from factory to consumer (via national agents). If your objective is simply to play a fun family game on a functional pool dining table, such imported tables represent excellent value.

However, if you want a competition high-furniture quality table, you need to consider, (particularly for a 7ft or 8ft table) that it becomes a rigid "fixture". It cannot safely be moved or repositioned in any way unless by a professional fitter. Should you anticipate the need for only occasional manoeuvrability (say if it is diner table) you should consider a bespoke wood-MDF bed. This requires using high grade kitchen quality resin-based 25mm MDF, which is individually machined to the same standard as slate.

If you have space restrictions and are limited to a 5ft pool dining table (or even smaller) a bespoke wood-MDF bed will play with the same accuracy as slate.

All our English pool tables have machined pocket openings complying with agreed competition standards, whether slate or one inch thick MDF. For slates 5ft and under, we have to outsource the cutting-down of a standard 6ft slate. This is an expensive process and adds considerably to the final cost of the table. We do not recommend this. But if a reduced slate is seen as essential to you, we will happily quote for this option. We make billiard tables to match any game discipline and ball size.

billiard ball size chart

 

Type of Diner Top

Most families looking for a pool table to convert as a dining table would ordinarily prefer a 6-seater dining function. What we refer to as a standard "5ft table" actually gives a dining dimension of 5.5ft x 3ft which is the optimum for comfortable 6-seater dining. And a table with a centre leg support allows for comfortable and proportioned seating for 8 persons. It is for this reason that we recommend a 5ft table particularly for modern kitchens and dining areas. For these tables we recommend a one-piece diner top. It avoid spillages and drips onto the baize (not least when cleaning the surface). Two able adults can remove and replace the top when required. We normally supply oak veneered 18mm resin-bonded MDF for rigidity and machined to the precise dimensions to incorporate a hard wood edge. However for those who prefer the ease of a 2 piece top we can engineer various options including a high furniture "breadboarded" top. The third and cheapest option is to have your own plywood or MDF pieces cut to size and rely on a modern wipe-easy table cloth for which there are now many styles and patterns offered on-line to suit you own decor.   

Drop pockets or retractable nets

Drop (or bucket) pockets are normally employed on pool dining tables where the intention is to disguise a traditional billiards function in favour of conveying a prime "dining" atmosphere. This requires requires a furniture "skirt" surrounding the cushions and pockets which conceals the ball capture. The varying depth of the skirt (and bucket drop) will affect the number of balls that can be captured and will also affect leg room when in dining mode. If your preference is for a slim dining appearance, then a skirt is not employed. When the pool dining table is in play mode, retractable nets fall down, and are tucked away when dining.

Wide or narrow base

Most traditional pool dining tables are supported by a table frame, consisting of 4 legs. The sub frame will be set inside the cushions and play area. Again this allows the ball capture to be external to the frame, offering various options. This we refer to as a "narrow base table". Although this maximises table rigidity, it may restrict the leg room in proportion to the upper dining dimensions. The legs would ordinarily be made of solid wood.A more modern variant is a "wide base table". Here the legs are set at the extreme corners of the upper table frame. The balls are collected either in a bucket or shallow tray inside the top of the legs. This means the legs have to be glued, joined and boxed to create the aperture.

Slimline Pool Dining Tables

A typical "slimline" table will employ slim table legs (4inch or less) which will be solid (not boxed). As with a narrow base table the top frame can be set outside the legs, and is best suited to retractable nets if you wish to preserve a slim top-frame. If you prefer a wide base base style the ball capture has to set inside the legs. This requires the balls to be captured inside the outer sub-frame by within a shallow tray. A slim line wide base table maximises seating space

Metal or Wood legs

For those seeking a more modern look, particularly if the aim is to maximise seating and leg room we are able to provide the option of fabricated steel legs. These come in various style patterns and colours, as an alternative effective support for a pool dining table. These are set to achieve a playing height of 31ins giving a seated dining height of 32 ins. We can arrange for these set height patterns to be varied if preferred, except it will add appreciably to cost.

Choosing a Pool Dining Table

Please note the images presented on all the pages on this website are of pool dining tables that can be adapted to your individual preferences and and made in any size or style from 4ft to 8ft.

POOL DINING TABLE FEATURES

● Pool tables made to order according to your own specifications and instructions.
● All aspects of manufacture by a collaboration UK of small business specialists.
● Slate bed pool tables in 4.5ft, 5ft, 6ft, 7ft, and 8ft table sizes. Plus machined square or other irregular slates.
● Choice of all ball capture systems. Nets, drop trays, deep buckets and other novel options.
● Option of machined 25mm kitchen grade MDF play beds if table manoeuvrability is required.
● Option of English or American pool size slates and snooker size slates
● Pine, oak, mahogany, ash, beech, or walnut woods.
● Unlimited options on colour or type of finish.
● Choice of matching or contrasting furniture diner tops. Veneered or solid wood.
● Pockets and cushions set precisely according to your preferred game and ball size.
● Napped or speed cloth cloth in all colours

Sizes of Pool Dining Tables

The most popular family pool dining table sizes are 5ft, 6ft and 7ft which will normally comply with English competition (pub-style) play characteristics, using a 2 inch pool ball. This size of ball can also be supplied to play 10-reds snooker offering a wider choice of game. 8ft tables can be made to satisfy the separate competition standards of the 3 disciplines of English pool, American pool or Snooker. 8ft tables (and larger) are also ideal for use in the boardroom. When creating a pool dining table of any size we take into consideration your preferred seating requirements, particularly on the optional table height and on the width and positioning of the table legs.

Choice of Wood

We normally make pool dining tables in solid oak, solid beech or solid natural pine. We also combine solid painted pine, to create an unlimited number of contrasting wood combinations. We can also accept commissions in a range of exotic woods, such as walnut. We also offer our unique range of pool dining tables with industrial style metal legs.

Finishing and colour matching

The current most popular pool table finish is painted pine. We normally co-ordinate with the Farrow and Ball colour palettes, although we can match to the EU standard of RAL colour codes. Both pine, beech and oak can be finished as natural wood and in a wide range of proprietary stains. We also offer the option of self-finishing.

Square pool dining tables

Whilst square pool dining tables will normally conform to standard dimensions for a 4.5ft (i.e. a 4.5ft square table equates to the width of a conventional 9ft table), we are able to create original dimensions down to 3ft square (which equates to the width of a pub size table). These are precision pool dining tables, perfect for serious practice, and which may better suit your available dimensional space.

Ball capture for pool dining tables

We offer a range of ball-capture systems, although the most popular are the retractable bag-nets, which can be sized to capture 6-8 balls per pocket (when the table is dining mode the nets are tucked, unseen, under the table play surface). The second most popular is the drop-pocket system where the balls are collected in concealed pockets that are set inside the corner legs (normally collects 4-6 balls). The third most popular is the bucket pocket where the balls normally drop into the hollow of a wider leg. Finally, for old-style enthusiasts we also offer a traditional ball-rail collection.

5ft POOL TABLES FOR SERIOUS PLAY

Our kitchen-size 5ft, pool tables comply with UK pool competition standards and play a full size 2-inch (pub-size) ball. These made-to-order 5ft pool tables are ideal for those wanting to practice, or play a good quality social game. Any style can be created in any colour of finish. Matching pool table dining tops, chairs or benches are available. Can be fitted with finest Italian slate, but with the option of a reinforced one-inch thick resin bonded MDF (best for undersized pool tables, or particularly where table manoeuvrability is required)

A wide choice of luxury pool table cloth colours is offered to coordinate with your own living space. We offer either English napped or American speed cloth.

5ft pool tables have a 60ins x 30ins play bed

We make range of furniture quality 5ft pool tables which is the smallest play area that complies with the established integrity of billiards. Whether it be snooker, English billiards, English pool or American pool. On these we can set pockets, cushion rubbers (type and depth) and a pool table cloth to accommodate any of these disciplines. Although most prefer to play a standard 2-inch English pool ball as used in pubs and national competitions, we can set the table to play the larger 2.25 inch balls for American pool (this would essentially be for those looking for a practice table)

5ft pool tables for a traditional game

In the drawing rooms and dining rooms of Victorian and Edwardian England, undersize "billiard" tables were common. A 5ft table was a popular size and many are still around. Although the game of snooker began to be played later, the most popular game, particularly for the undersized tables, was 3-ball English billiards. The relatively recent popularity of English (pub) pool has now relegated traditional billiards. However, 3-ball English billiards is an ideal secondary game for a smaller table and has all the fun and skill of the modern games.

Customer Enquiries on 5ft pool tables

Most internet enquirers visiting this specialist site will be searching against 5ft pool dining tables (or other undersized tables) and their need to maximise game-utility against their limited available space. This requires an often-complex interchange of information between us and the client. We know from experience that it is best begun with an email conversation. So give us an initial outline on your pool dining table project, and your broad preferences and we will take it from there.

Please consider we offer a totally bespoke service. We do not sell stock items. We would normally require 4-8 weeks to complete a pool dining table project. 

5FT POOL DINING TABLES: KEY ISSUES

Whichever your preferred size of pool dining table, you must give careful thought to these considerations:

1. Are you familiar with the cueing area required for a pool table and whether to optimise at a competition standard cue, or to compromise with a shorter cue, or an occasional short-cue for tight shots. Have you tested these variations on a room-space simulation?

2. Do you wish to play at pool table competition height (according to your game preference) or compromise at a lower dining height. We would normally set at a dining height of 31 inches (this is variable)

3. Have you determined the seating places required and considered how the design options on a pool dining table can impact on leg space?

4. Are you physically able to lift and replace a pool dining table top and are you aware of the options on sectional tops. 

 

WHERE DO THE POOL BALLS GO?

When researching on a pool dining table you need to consider the method of ball capture (as mentioned above). This affects both the quality of play and the aesthetics of your pool table in a room setting. It may help to offer a brief history and the alternatives that have evolved.

Traditional Method

Traditional ball capture for Pocket Billiards relied on "nets" with a leather encasement, and with brass or other metal bolts affixed to the cushions. As an additional development, ball-rails could  be set below the nets to allow a visible collection of the balls and to allow selected ball retrieval. This was and is undoubtedly the most efficient and precise ball capture system and a requirement for billiards tournament play on larger tables.

Pub Billiards Method

In the 60's there was a rapid interest in coin-operated billiards in pubs and other public places. For this innovation to be viable, the table pockets had to be encased in a belly with an centralised ball collection. Most of us are now are familiar with these tables, either for competition play or for social fun.

American Billiards (Bucket or Drop Pockets)

America is the home of "pool". A distinct style of table has evolved where the balls are collected in a deep bucket pocket, which are all surrounded by by a seamless skirt, resulting in a heavy appearance, and a particularly solid centre-piece of fine furniture.

French Billiards Method

French billiards (or Carom) is a game played without pockets (a game of cannons and "snookers"). Because there are no pockets, table styles have developed based on conventional dining tables. Over the past 20 years, the design inspirations of Carom have been translated into a wide range of pool dining tables, which has sought to best disguise the traditional visual prominence of nets or bulky bucket pockets. Thus, a wide choice of pool dining table designs have been introduced, with tables that retain the essential functionality of pool, but fits less obtrusively in modern family homes, particularly as open kitchen living becomes more popular. A varied selection of such tables are featured on this site.

 

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LINKS TO POOL TABLE PAGES 

A wide selection of 5ft pool table designs that can be adapted to 4.5ft or 6ft table models.

Special Edition Pool Table

Metal Cross Legs

Square Pool Table

Blue Pine Pool Table

White

Chunky Pine

Chunky Pine Turned Legs

Industrial Metal Legs

Manus

Oak With Pine

Pine Wide Base Kitchen

Pine with Hairpin Legs

Leathers

White Pool Table Bucket Pockets

Wide BaseWork in progress

More Pool Dining Tables

Bar Billiards

Ariston [withdrawn style]

Square Pool Table Oak [withdrawn style]

More Tables Backup [page under re-construction]

 

7ft POOL DINING TABLES

Larger table sizes to show various ball capture methods:

7ft Pub Type Pool Table

7ft Narrow Base Pool Table

7ft Narrow Base Kitchen Pool Table

7ft Narrow Leg Side Channel Pool Table [withdrawn style]

7ft Sentinel Pool Table [withdrawn style]

7ft Wide Base Pool Table [withdrawn style]

7ft Side Drawer Pool Table [withdrawn style]

 

8ft POOL DINING TABLES

Larger table styles that can be also adapted to any size:

8ft Slimline

8ft Oak Bucket Pockets

8ft Oak Pine Combination Bucket

8ft Oak Pine Slimline

8ft Steel-1

8ft Steel Slimline

Surplus images

For more one-to-one information

E-Mail us at:

info@matchbilliards.co.uk

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"Enquiry from POOL DINING TABLES project"

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