Setting Up Your Game Room
What is the standard size for a pool table?
The most popular pool table size for home use is 4 ft. x 8 ft.
How much do pool tables weigh?
On average, a pool table weighs 75 pounds.
What size room do I need?
I would like a pool table, but I'm not sure if I have enough room.
For a 7 ft. table
To play with a standard 58” cue, your room should be at least 12'11”x16'2”
To play with a 52” cue, your room should be at least 11'11”x15'2”
To play with a 48” cue, your room should be at least 11'3”x14'6”
For a 8 ft. table
To play with a standard 58” cue, your room should be at least 13'4”x17'
To play with a 52” cue, your room should be at least 12'4”x16'
To play with a 48” cue, your room should be at least 11'8”x15'4”
For a 8.5 ft. table
To play with a standard 58” cue, your room should be at least 13'6”x17'4”
To play with a 52” cue, your room should be at least 12'6”x16'4”
To play with a 48” cue, your room should be at least 11'10”x15'8”
For a 9 ft. table
To play with a standard 58” cue, your room should be at least 13'10”x18'
To play with a 52” cue, your room should be at least 12'10”x17'
To play with a 48” cue, your room should be at least 12'2”x16'4”
"Outfitting a full game room depends largely upon how much room you have, what you would like to use the room for, and how much money you would like to spend. The sky's the limit."
Other than a pool table and some cues, what else do I need to buy?
Outfitting a full game room depends largely upon how much room you have, what you would like to use the room for, and how much money you would like to spend. The sky's the limit.
Pool accessories you need for hours of family pool time include:
Cues – You will need at least 2 playing cues. A lot of people like to get cues for guests to play with as well. Optionally, you can purchase a special jump and/or break cue.
Bridge - You might also want to invest in a bridge cue or slip-on bridge head for one of your playing cues.
Ball Set – Here is where you can really go crazy with novelty balls that do everything from proclaim your love of a particular sports team to light up and glow in the dark. There's a set for every taste under the sun.
Ball Racks - 8-ball triangle and 9-ball diamond for racking balls.
Table Care - Table brush and cleaner to keep your cloth looking and playing like new.
Table Cover – this can be as simple as a plastic sheet or a nice, fitted cover. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for here. Thin plastic sheets rip easily and do not last nearly as long as nice fitted covers, but they cost much less.
Chalk – Chalk comes in a wide array of colors and in brands costing a few dollars for 12 pieces on up to $25 per piece.
Cue Rack – You need somewhere to put your cues. If you're running low on space, a wall rack is your best bet. Wall racks cost anywhere from $20 - $200 and up, depending upon how many cues they hold to extra features like a ball holder. Floor racks make nice statement furniture pieces and can also give you an additional place to set a drink. Floor racks can cost anywhere from $70 - $200. Some come with ball, rack or brush holders as well.
Seating – It would also be nice to give people a place to sit. Bar stools and spectator chairs (tall bar stools with cue grooves and cup holders) are the most popular seating types.
Tables – A place to put a drink would also be a good thing – the last thing you want is for someone to put their drink on your nice new table! For the space-challenged, wall-mounted pub tables are becoming more popular. They look like rounded half-tables and attach right to the wall. Other popular table styles include pub tables. Pub tables are tall and usually fairly skinny.
Lighting – Adequate lighting is crucial for playing a great game. Many manufacturers make 2, 3, or even 4-shade lighting on a bar specifically designed to go over a pool table.
Ambience – Little things like music make your space more comfortable and somewhere you would like to spend a lot of time. Ambience is especially important if your game room is for the whole family. If you want kids to play more pool, make the room more comfortable for them with the addition of special game room-only equipment and music.
If you have the room and would like more than just a pool room, some popular game room additions include:
Darts - If you would like to add a dartboard to your game room, you need at least 10 feet of clear space out from the wall. Adequate lighting (like track, pot or gallery ceiling lighting) is also crucial. Regulation dart board height is 5'8” from the floor (the bulls eye should be 5'8” up from the floor). The throw line should be placed at 7'9 1/4” from the face of the dartboard. An easy way to calculate the distance is by taking the measurement from the face of the board to the wall behind it and adding 7'9 1/4” to that number. For example, if the face of your dart board is 3” from the wall, add 3” to 7'9 1/4” - place your throw line 8' 3/4” from the wall.
Poker or gaming tables – Poker tables are also popular game room additions. If you don't have room for a full poker table, consider either a folding table, or pool table insert that will turn your pool table into a usable surface for playing poker, etc.
Bar – You can set a bar up in a surprisingly small amount of space. Most furniture retailers carry space-saving bars that fold up into the size of a small cabinet. For those of you with more room, a full-sized bar with room to sit and wash bar glasses is a great way to go.
If I get an over-the-table billiards light, how high should I hang it over the table?
The quickest and easiest way to get adequate lighting to play pool is with an over-the-table hanging light specifically made for game rooms. Most come with glass or metal shades, and many of those metal shades are painted on the inside to reflect the maximum amount of light down onto your table. Billiard lights no longer just come in a brass bar with stained-glass style shades, either. Some brands (like HJ Scott) make lights in a wide variety of attractive contemporary and modern finishes that will match almost any decorating scheme under the sun. Whatever light you choose, it should hang 36” over the bed of the pool table or 65” above the floor. Any less and you risk banging it with your head or your cue. For more information check out How to Pick Out & Hang Billiard Lighting.