You’ll have a lot of questions when you start shopping pool tables! The first one is usually; “Will it fit in my room?”
In order to answer that question, you’ll first need the answers to these:
“What is the standard pool table size?” and
“What is the minimum room size for a pool table?”
Pool table room size – ‘rule of thumb’ to feel comfortable
You definitely want to feel comfortable moving all around the table, to be able to relax, and having fun playing. So we’ll walk you through the important points, and give you an easy way to remember it – a ‘rule of thumb’ for pool table room sizes. Let’s dig in …
“How Much Space Do You Need for a Pool Table Room?”
That depends upon the size of your pool table. First, we’ll take a look at different pool table sizes, then we’ll explore minimum room sizes and dimensions – in more detail.
Standard Table Sizes
“What is the standard pool table size?”
There are several ‘standard sizes’ for pool tables in the US: 7 feet, 8 feet, 8 1/2 feet and 9 feet long. Refer to the table below for full dimensions of each, in inches and centimeters.
Notice that the playing area is smaller than the table size:
“What is the minimum room size for a pool table?”
METHOD #1 – Rough Rule of Thumb:
The easy – but rough – ‘rule of thumb’ is: Start with the length and width. Add 5 feet to each side of the table – all the way around.
For example, an 8′ x 4′ table needs roughly an 18′ x 14′ room. (That’s 8+5+5=18 and 4+5+5=14.)
METHOD #2 – Cue Length PLUS:
This method is more precise, and allows more room to maneuver a longer cue. So the minimum room size will vary, depending on the size of your table AND the length of your cue. The standard cue length is 58 inches. If you play with a shorter cue, such as 48 inches or 52 inches, your room size can be smaller.
How big should the room be to accommodate your pool table? Here’s how the minimum room sizes are determined:
- The minimum WIDTH of the room must equal: the width of the table PLUS twice the length of the cue.
- The minimum LENGTH of the room must equal: the length of the table PLUS twice the length of the cue.
You’ll have lots more fun if there’s plenty of space around the table for you to maneuver. As you play, you want to work your way around the table and not feel cramped or hindered in any way. You want to be able to move the cue wherever you need to get a good stance and draw. That’s why you add a queue length around all sides of the table.
Minimum room sizes for each table size, using a standard 58″ cue:
- 7 foot table – 13 x 16 feet minimum room size (156″ x 192″)
- 8 foot table – 13.6 x 17 feet minimum room size (162″ x 204″)
- Oversize 8 foot table – 13.6 x 17.6 feet minimum room size (162″ x 210″)
- 9 foot table – 14 x 18 feet minimum room size (168″ x 216″)
How will it fit in your room? If your room dimensions are equal to or larger than the minimum room sizes above, your table should fit well and be very comfortable all the way around it, using a 58″ cue.
Smaller room dimensions – using a 48″ cue:
You can possibly fit a table quite comfortably into a smaller room if you use a shorter cue. To give you a better idea, here are the minimum dimensions using a 48 inch cue:
- SEVEN foot table: (3.5′ x 7′) 42″ x 84″ | Playing Area: 38″ x 76″ | Min. Room Size: 138″ x 174″
- EIGHT foot table: (4′ x 8′) 48″ x 96″ | Playing Area: 44″ x 88″ | Min. Room Size: 144″ x 186″
- OVERSIZE EIGHT foot table: (4′ x 8′) 48″ x 96″ | Playing Area: 46″ x 92″ | Min. Room Size: 144″ x 186″
- NINE foot table: (4.5′ x 9′) 54″ x 108″ | Playing Area: 50″ x 100″ | Min. Room Size: 150″ x 198″
Brunswick Billiards provides the images and dimensions above, to be sure that customers have clear guidelines for the space they need. Just take your room dimensions and see which table suits the room best.
Using these guidelines, you should be able to stand anywhere around the table and draw the cue as far back as you need, to make a comfortable shot.
“Is my room big enough for this table?”
Let’s back into the room dimensions – For example…
Let’s assume that you have a room with an available area that measures 16 feet 8 inches long by 14 feet wide. Convert that to total inches. The result is 200 inches long by 168 inches wide. Now we’ll back into the area available for the pool table by subtracting out twice the length of the cue in each direction, length and width.
- We know that the length of our cue is 58 inches for each side of the pool table, and double that is 116 inches – for maneuvering around the sides with the cue.
- So the room LENGTH: 200 inches, minus 116 cue inches, equals 84 inches – to be allowed for the length of the pool table.
- The WIDTH of the room: at 168 inches minus twice the cue length, 116 inches, equals 52 inches – to be allowed for the width of the pool table.
- Thus, you have room dimensions with an area of 84 inches by 52 inches available for the table.
Now, using these calculations, is your space big enough?
What If a Beam or Load-Bearing Pole is in the Way?
If you have a downstairs space that would be an ideal game room for playing pool, but it has some kind of beam or pole obstruction, don’t fret. Many, many homes have that kind of challenge and it’s just not a big deal.
Here are some suggestions offered by Olhausen Billiards to help you deal with pole obstructions:
What is the least obstructive spot for the pole?
- If possible, you want to keep the pole on a side of the table, instead of on the end, because it will tend to be an obstruction less at the side.
- The best place to position the pole is adjacent to the side pocket – which is statistically the lowest percentage shot, so it will be the least likely to affect the game.
- However, if placing the pole at the end is unavoidable, you’re better off placing it on the end from which you break, since the cue ball can be moved in order to avoid the pole’s obstruction.
What can I do if the pole is in the way?
Many excellent players have become comfortable with a shorter cue that enables them to maneuver around poles and other obstacles with as little as 24 inches of clearance. Short cues come in a variety of sizes; 36 inches, 48 inches and 52 inches.
Yes, that’s right, we didn’t mention the 36″ cue in the discussion above. That’s because it’s not used much for adult play. It’s an excellent length for children. A favorite high quality shorty cue is called the Trouble Shooter, which is balanced, weighted, with the weight being positioned forward for a better weight-to-length ratio.
The short cue is also a necessity for smaller rooms, and for children who are learning to play. You may consider getting a couple different lengths of the shorty, for those situations where nothing else will do.
It’s wise to establish rules for such situations, so that each player knows what’s allowed, and abides by them consistently, making for fairer and less-stress play.
Pool Table Equipment and Accessories You’ll Need
FOR MORE DETAIL SEE: “Billiards Accessories Make Perfect Gifts For Your Pool Enthusiast!”
Along with your new table, you need certain equipment and accessories. Some of these are required to play, and some are optional.
Pool Ball Sets – High quality pool ball sets make a difference in your game!
Box sets include a total of 16 balls with the traditional combination of solids & stripes.
Racks – Quality racks are constructed for durability, stability, and beauty, out of solid hardwood. Different shaped racks are needed for the most commonly played games of the traditional 8-Ball and also-favorite 9-Ball.
Cues – Players do love their cues! Quality Cues are made in two pieces, standard length of 58 inches.
Accessories – And now for all the fun goodies you get to pick out! Be sure to keep quality in mind, as it often makes a noticeable difference in your game. We’re happy to discuss with you the finer points of all these items – just call or stop by!
- Cue Chalk
- Ball Racks
- Pool/Billiard Cue Stick Carrying Case (Optional)
- Pool Table Cover (Optional)
- Nylon Pool Table and Rail Brush (Optional)
- Slip-On/Portable Moosehead Bridge Head for Pool Cues (Optional)
Many of these can be purchased over time, and make great gifts. In fact, when relatives and friends hear that you’re the proud owner of a pool table, not only will they want to play, but when gift-giving time arrives, they’ll certainly think that pool table-related accessories are the perfect choice!
With these considerations in mind, you’ll surely choose a great table and all the trimmings that are comfortable for everyone. We know that you’ll have many, many hours of fun.
About the Author:
Cliff Gilchrist is co-owner of Nashville Billiard and Patio, located at 927 8th Avenue S. Nashville, Tennessee 37203. Cliff is passionate about high quality pool tables, and has worked with (and around) them since he was just a child. One of Cliff’s greatest delights is to visit with customers years after delivery, and hear the stories of how their pool table brought the family together for rollicking good times – year after year. Just like they do for his own family. You can call Cliff at the store 615-254-7882 or email him: firstname.lastname@example.org