Slate vs Wood Pool Table: Which one is better?

You want to furnish your wonderful man cave with a pool table to entertain yourself. There are two most common pool table surfaces: slate vs wood pool table. When going window shopping, you may hear the introduction from the sellers on how good their products are.  

However, you can’t decide which type of pool table to purchase since there is too much information and criteria to compare the tables. Plus, the manufacturers will promote their items as standing out from others. Each type of table has its own advantages and disadvantages listed in the article so that you can choose a perfect one for your man cave.

Difference Between Slate Bed And Wood Bed Tables?

In general, slate tables are likely to be a little expensive and somehow better than the wood ones due to the higher cost of material compared to the wood or artificial wood surface. In the other hand, wood pool tables are an economical choice for people who love billiards but don’t have enough budget. They possess all the properties of a high-end table. 

Additionally, the quality of different woods brings about various quality rates, so the more excellent the wood is, the more decent the table is. Altogether, they are more affordable and especially lighter than slate tables. Let’s have a closer look at these types.

Detailed Comparison Between Slate Bed And Wood Bed Tables 

Price range

Slate bed tables are way more expensive than the other ones. The reason is that the slate itself is an expensive material of natural resources. Plus, in the manufacturing process, it first requires the labor to mine the slate from the earth and later uses modern machines to whet it into a flat and whole surface. 

Moreover, besides the majority of tables with slate in the market, some upmarket items include a veneer made from hardwood covering over the surface to upgrade a luxury finish. 

With the labor costs, the well-qualified materials, the gorgeous looking, and the brand, the price for a slate product will fluctuate from about 1.000 USD to 20.000 USD. Their cost is normally higher by about 20% to 60% than a wood table. 

On the other hand, compared to their slate counterparts, wood products, also known as MDF (Medium-density fiberboard) bodies products, are much cheaper, and the reason behind it is the fact that their surfaces are made of wood. When producing pool tables, manufacturers mainly use wood laminate, which is a low-cost material. 

All these tables have the MDF bodies, so the cost is decreased even more. This type of item costs somewhere around 250 USD to 1.000 USD only, making it a bargain choice.

Wood tables are great for low-budget cases.

Playability

When playing, there is a significant difference between these two table types. On a slate surface, you will experience a smoother and faster ball roll. Meanwhile, the MDF tables may somehow create drag forces. 

Consequently, it leads to a shorter distance in the cue ball and the aimed balls’ movement when the player uses the same powerful force compared to the slate ones. You will immediately recognize this point if you play all the two tables. 

Therefore, all the tournament occurs on the slate tables to maintain the original quality of the play. The majority of players have confirmed that it is better when playing on a slate surface. Even though the felt cloth on the table also contributes to the playability, the surface makes more remarkable differences.

Playing on a slate product bring you a better experience.
Playing on a slate product bring you a better experience

Portability

As mentioned earlier, MDF tables are much more lightweight than the other ones due to the wood material. You can easily move them around and arrange them in your preference. They weigh around 200 pounds, which sounds quite heavy. But compared to the average weight of slate, over 800 pounds, you now see their advantage.

There are also some MDF products on the market, including foldable legs, so it is more convenient to store if you don’t want to play billiards in a while.

Slate ones, conversely, are like fixed items as they are too hassle and heavy to dismantle. Therefore, it is advisable that you purchase one if you already have a spacious room for entertainment purposes only. Various slate tables are precisely set at a place. 

You may damage the table when you try to displace it, or worse, injure your body. So if you are intending to install or disassemble them, call a professional to help you instead.

Longevity

Only by examining the top surface, it is not enough to identify the longevity of a pool table. There is also the frame of the body attributed to their endurance. 

Slate products normally include a high-quality frame along with the expensive price, so the manufacturers guarantee longer longevity. However, wood tables will appear waves or maybe some bumps when they meet liquid. 

In addition, wood is easier to break, so these tables can’t bear a strong force or not. Also, it can lead to divots. Generally, when it comes to durability, slate products win.

Warping

Another element contributing to the playability is the warping, which is the signals of the twist, the bow, or the sag on the surface. This usually happens with MDF products since the material used to produce them is wood, so they are vulnerable in front of other factors like moisture, temperature level, and humidity. 

Placing it in a damp position will make the warping situation begin faster. Without careful preservation, warping will appear on MDF tables and prevent you from having a good experience. The truth is, they will eventually face warps, but in a suitable environment, it will happen slower. 

However, with slate tables, they don’t absorb water since it is a kind of rock. Their surface will remain flat permanently. If the warping appears, it may be on the other parts of the table.

Warping happens in MDF pieces.

The Pros And Cons – General Review

Wood Bed Table 

Pros:

  • Price: Because of applying an MDF body, the average cost for a wood bed table is much more economical than a slate product. This is a good choice for people on a low budget.
  • Weight: Wood or MDF is not as heavy as slate, so it is more portable and can be moved to other locations if you want to.

Cons:

  • Game play: This is a huge difference compared to slate ones. On the MDF surface, the ball somehow rolls slower than normal due to the resistance force. Even though you can still play billiards, as usual, the feeling can’t reach supremacy.
  • Warping: After a long time of use, the wood product may have a high tendency to deteriorate. When the wood is exposed to humidity, liquid, or changeable temperature too often, warps will eventually appear. This may affect your experience and also cause irritation.
MDF tables are suitable for small rooms.

Slate Bed Table 

Pros:

  • Game play: Needless to say, when it comes to playability of slate vs wood pool table, slate products win. Using slate to process the surface will give it a flat and natural finish. The rolling speed of balls remains original.

Consequently, slate products are essential items on every billiards tournament globally. If you are a professional player or you simply want to get to know billiards more, slate is an amazing option.

  • Warping: Made from natural stone, these products guarantee lifetime endurance. Slate is hard to break and also lasts forever. 

In case you use a really strong force on its surface, it may break. Also, slate remains its best status when it is in a severe condition such as too hot or too humid compared to wood ones.

Cons:

  • Price: With such a natural material like slate, it requires lots of money to process a piece of it. Besides, you may have to pay an extra fee for delivery and installation to complete the hard work.
  • Weight: Slate is much heavier than MDF material. Plus, it needs a stable frame to increase stability. 

It is advisable that you purchase one if you truly have a space for it and mean to keep it in a fixed position. Moving it to other places is troublesome and sometimes breaks it apart.

Slate tables have longer use and create an authentic feeling.

Conclusion

Depending on the needs and requirements, an individual will come up with his perfect decision of what he wants to purchase between slate vs wood pool table. If you don’t have much budget and space, a wood or MDF table will be more suitable for you. 

If you want to enjoy the professional experience or set up a billiards room permanently, you can consider the slate products. With all the suggestions and a detailed guideline we gave you above, we hope that you can choose the right table for better amusement to relieve stress whenever you need it.