Is Black a Good Color for Pool Table Felt? (Explained)

Is Black Good Color for Pool Table Felt

When it comes to choosing the best color for your pool table felt, there’s a myriad of options available.

However, one color that often sparks debate among enthusiasts and professionals alike is black. So, is black a good color for pool table felt? Let’s delve into the details.

Key Takeaways

  • Black felt can be aesthetically pleasing and suit modern room designs.
  • Serious players might find black felt challenging due to visibility issues.
  • Black felt requires more maintenance as it can easily show dirt and debris.
  • Lighting is crucial when using black felt to ensure visibility.

The Benefits of Black Pool Table Felt

There are different reasons as to why you may choose a certain color of felt, and when it comes to black, the aesthetics is possibly its biggest selling point.

The Benefits

Benefits of Black Pool Table Felt
  • Black pool table felt looks incredibly sleek and stylish, especially when set in modern styled rooms, rooms with lots of black and whites throughout.
  • The trendy color is a big draw to casual players looking to break away from the traditional green or blue pool table felts.
  • Added to that, a black pool table can serve as a statement piece in a room, drawing attention and becoming a conversation starter.

The Casual Choice

Typically speaking, picking a color based on the aesthetics is more common among casual players, ones who play more for fun and much less concerned about the performance.

Is Black a Good Color for Pool Table Felt
Black pool table felt can lack contrast with the pockets

Serious players tend to avoid black felt due to the shadows created and the issues with ball visibility.

As such, you will rarely find competitive players practicing and playing on black pool table felt. 

  • Black is one of the worst felt colors to provide contrast on a pool table.
  • Separating the edges of the pockets is difficult on all black tables.
  • Sighting the 8-ball on black pool table felt can be a challenge

If you only play for fun and goof around with friends or family, the issues associated with the color won’t be a major concern.

No matter what side of the line you fall on, it is hard to disagree with the aesthetic pull of black on a pool table.

On a Budget

If you are on a budget, the Championship Saturn II black pool table felt plays to a level, closer to premium quality, than the low price would otherwise suggest.

It is coated in Teflon, making it highly resistant to spilled liquids and giving it greater longevity over other brands within the same price range.

Championship Saturn II black Pool table felt
Championship Saturn II black Pool table felt

The Alternative Color for Serious Players

If you play quite often, and competitively, you will probably be looking for more out of a color than its ability to match a room’s tone.

TOURNAMENT BLUE playing cloth from Simonis is one of the best types of pool table felt for performance. If you are a serious player, there’s much more benefit in terms of all round gameplay, rather than a black playing surface.

The Lighting on Black Pool Table Felt

If aesthetics is your thing, and you love the look of black, you need to pay special attention to the lighting.

In truth, lighting is important no matter the color.

  • Brighter colors reflect more light than they absorb.
  • On darker shades of cloth, light is absorbed and less is reflected.
Is Black a Good Color for Pool Table Felt (Explained)
Black pool table felt suits a modern style room! Image credit:

As black absorbs the most light, so you will need bright lighting.

This will ensure the table stands out and grabs attention, but will also make the table much more playable.

The Cleanliness of the Black Pool Table Felt

Visibility of Debris and Particles

One of the primary concerns with black pool table felt is its ability to show debris, dust, and other small particles.

While it might seem counterintuitive, lighter-colored lint, dust, and even chalk can stand out prominently against a dark background.

This means that even a small amount of debris can be easily visible, making the table appear less clean than it might actually be.

Stain Concealment

On the positive side, black felt can effectively hide certain types of stains.

  • Spills or marks that are dark-colored will blend in more seamlessly with the black felt compared to lighter felts.
  • However, lighter stains, such as those from beverages, can be more noticeable.

Chalk Marks

Pool chalk, especially the commonly used blue or green varieties, can leave noticeable marks on black felt.

  • Each stroke or miscue can result in chalk deposits that stand out against the black background.
  • While this can be an issue with all felt colors, it’s particularly pronounced on black felt.

The Answer? Use Black chalk

Just as black felt can hide certain types of stains, black chalk can also conceal its own marks and smudges better on black playing cloth than if you are using colored chalks.

This ensures chalk marks are less noticeable, helping to maintain its aesthetics for longer with less maintenance.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Due to the visibility of dust, debris and chalk if you don’t use a black one, black pool table felt can require more frequent cleaning to maintain its pristine appearance.

Regular brushing or vacuuming can help remove surface debris, while periodic deep cleaning can help remove embedded chalk and other residues.

Wear and Tear

Over time, as the felt undergoes wear and tear, areas of frequent ball impact or high traffic might begin to show signs of fading or wear.

Is Black a Good Color for Pool Table Felt (Explained)
Dirt shows up very easily on black pool table felt

On black felt, these areas can become slightly lighter or grayish, making them more noticeable.

Knowing the Right Color to Use

When it comes to picking pool table felt color, it can be harder than you may initially think.

There are an abundance of color choices, and it can feel somewhat daunting to whittle it down to just one.

In terms of performance, Green and Blue are the best, however I have listed some questions you can ask yourself below to help you find the best color for you.

  1. How many hours a day do you play? – Casual players typically spend less of their time playing than someone who takes the game more seriously. As such, they are not as limited by color choice based on performance, like a competitive player would be.
  2. Serious players should avoid bright colors? – If you are a serious player, bright colors should be avoided as they come with issues of eye comfort.
  3. Does the color provide contrast? – If you do play a lot, you are going to need to also make sure the color of the cloth doesn’t interfere with the visibility of the balls. Some of the balls can disappear into the felt if a similar shade is used on the playing surface.
  4. Is the pool table for decoration? – Table’s that are purely used as a decorative piece of furniture needn’t be too concerned about the color if it will rarely be used. You can pick the color you like the most and one that matches the room’s decor.
  5. How will the table be lit? – Colors can look very differently under lighting. Visiting a pool table showroom can give you more of an idea of the type of lighting best used on different colors. In general, brighter cloths need less lighting. Darker cloths require more.
  6. Are the edges of the pockets visible? – This can be a common problem on black felt, in particular if the pockets are also black. It can make sighting much more difficult.
Championship Saturn II black Pool table felt
Championship Saturn II black Pool table felt

Final Thoughts on Whether Black Is a Good Color for Pool Table Felt?

In terms of aesthetic appeal, there is no doubt black looks awesome on a pool table and suits many different room styles. It is one of the biggest advantages that it has over much of the other colors of felt.

In truth, though, if you’re a serious player you probably won’t care about matching room tones or aesthetics and this somewhat removes much of its pull as it is most noted for its cool appearance.

Casual and recreational players are much less inhibited with their choice and can go off what looks the best more freely. 


Similar Posts