How Often Should Felt Be Replaced on a Pool Table?

How Often Should Felt Be Replaced on a Pool Table

Embarking on the journey of pool table maintenance, can be both a rewarding and necessary endeavor, especially when it comes to replacing the felt. 

The condition of the playing cloth directly influences the quality and enjoyment of your pool-playing experience.

Whether you’re a seasoned player noticing the subtle changes in your table’s playability or a newcomer keen on DIY projects, understanding when to replace your pool table felt is something every player should be aware of.

Key Takeaways

  • The frequency of felt replacement depends on usage, quality of the felt, and environmental factors.
  • Signs of wear and tear, such as pilling, fading, or stretching, indicate a need for replacement.
  • Professional replacement is recommended for optimal results, but DIY options are available.

How Long Does Pool Table Cloth Last? Quick Answer

Pool table felt lasts on average between 3 and 5 years before needing to be replaced.

However, the lifespan of the playing cloth can vary significantly based on several factors, including the quality of the felt, frequency of use, playing style, and maintenance.

FactorImpact on Felt Longevity
Usage FrequencyHigher frequency leads to quicker wear
Felt QualityHigher quality lasts longer
Playing StyleAggressive play can cause faster deterioration
MaintenanceRegular cleaning and care extend lifespan
How Long Does Pool Table Cloth Last?

What Affects the Life of Pool Table Felt?

On average, pool table felt typically lasts ion accordance with the type of player you are and how you care for the table. 

For instance, the more you play, the more often should you refelt.

Regular cleaning, avoiding spills and sharp objects, and ensuring a suitable playing environment can significantly extend the life of the playing cloth.

Frequency of Use

  • Casual Home Use: If the table is used casually in a home environment, the felt can last between 3 and 5 years before needing replacement.
  • Heavy or Commercial Use: In settings where the table sees more rigorous or frequent play, such as in bars, pool halls, or in the case of competitive players, the felt might need replacing more frequently, often every 1 to 2 years.

Environmental Factors

Humidity and Temperature: Extreme conditions can affect the felt’s tension and texture. High humidity can lead to stretching, while low humidity can cause shrinking.

Sunlight Exposure: Continuous exposure to sunlight can fade the felt and weaken its fibers.

The Type of Cloth

High-quality, worsted wool felt tends to last longer than standard woolen cloth, especially with proper care and maintenance. 

  • The quality of the material and manufacturer can also make a difference to the longevity.
  • Simonis are a well respected in the industry, with a long distinguished history of quality and trust worthiness.
Simonis 860 premium pool table felt

Dirty Pool Balls

Dirty pool balls can significantly contribute to the wear and tear of felt, impacting both its longevity and the quality of play.

  • Dirt and Grit: Dirt and small particles on the balls act like sandpaper against the felt. As the balls roll across the table, this grit grinds against the cloth, causing accelerated wear.
  • Increased Friction: Dirt on the balls increases friction with the felt. This not only affects the smoothness of play but also leads to more rapid degradation of the cloth’s surface.

Using low quality balls can also increase friction, over time, leading to a felt that looks old, plays poorly, and requires replacement much sooner than otherwise necessary.

Aramith premium billiard balls
Aramith premium billiard balls

When to Replace Pool Table Felt? Know the Signs

Despite consistent upkeep, even if your maintenance is top-notch, there will come a time when felt replacement is necessary. 

The felt on your table will gradually wear down due to the friction created with the constant movement of the balls and any minor damages that can happen along the way. 

Experienced players will tend to know it’s time as soon as there is a slight drop in the way it plays, but for beginners it can be difficult to notice.

There are certain things to keep an eye on, that make it easier to know when to replace your pool table felt and the two main signs are in:

  1. Visual and Physical Signs in the Cloth
  2. Any Performance Changes

Wear and Tear

The first, and easiest sign to spot that you need to refelt a pool table, is in the cloths condition,

  • Pilling: Small balls of fuzz on the surface.
  • Fading: Loss of color, especially in high-impact areas.
  • Stretching or Loosening: Affects the playability and accuracy.
  • Thinning: The cloth wears down from ball friction, which can eventually rip or tear.
  • Chalk Stains: Pool chalk is slightly abrasive and left to accumulate in the cloth causes it to wear away

Performance Issues

Change in Ball Movement: If you notice a change in the speed or trajectory of the balls, the felt might be the culprit.

Inconsistent Play: Uneven wear can lead to dead spots on the table where the ball unexpectedly slows down or changes direction.

Protect the Playing Cloth

If you keep on top of cleaning and your maintenance, most of the dirt your table will pick up, will be when it’s not being used.

So, therefore, one of the best ways to preserve the longevity of the cloth, is to cover it with a quality cover, like GSE’s tear and waterproof leatherette cover.

Other ways to preserve the longevity of the playing cloth include:

  • Regular table maintenance.
  • Remove rings and jewelry that can get caught in the material. 
  • Keep pool balls clean.
  • Use high quality balls.
  • Don’t rest heavy objects on the felt.
  • Use a humidifier to keep optimal levels all the time.

Final Thoughts on How Often Should Felt Be Replaced on a Pool Table?

In general, the playing felt has a lifespan of between 3–5 years. Even if the material is subjected to excellent maintenance and optimal conditions, it will need to be replaced sometime.

There are certain things you can do that will preserve the cloth for longer, however the wear and tear caused from playing cant be helped.

The wearing away of fiber from playing, is one of the main reasons why it will eventually need to be replaced. Some types of cloth are more durable and can take longer to wear down than others.


Similar Posts