Snooker is one of the great games, relaxing, requiring some skill but not too strenuous. Having a snooker room in your home is something to aspire to, at least for men. However you do need a large room for the 12-foot full-blown version. The good news is you can get smaller tables too, starting at 7 foot. They still have the same slate bed and leather pockets so they last forever and still have that classic wood frame. The 7 foot and 8 foot versions only have 10 reds on the table so the table doesn't get overcrowded with balls, but apart from that its almost as good as the real thing.
If you are thinking of buying a snooker table, first check the room size required. As a general rule of thumb, add 10 feet to each dimension to find out what room size you need. The 12-foot table for example requires a room size of 22 feet by 16 feet to allow for a clean cue action all around the table. The cues are normally 57 inches in length. So for a 7-foot table you need a room of 17 feet by 10 foot 6 inches. (A snooker table is always twice as long as it is wide)
When it comes to which one to buy, bear in mind that the actual playing surface is virtually the same on all snooker tables. The price you pay for a table is largely determined by the leg design and wood chosen. Snooker tables can be crafted from solid wood like ash or mahogany or built from strong plywood and covered in veneer. The tables made from the solid wood are stained to give it the colour you want whilst the veneered type have the correct colour of veneer applied and are less expensive. Also the leg design is also a factor in the cost. A complicated design is more difficult to make and so more expensive.
The classic 12 foot snooker table has 8 legs whereas the smaller types like the 7 or 8 ft have 4 legs and the 9 and 10 ft sizes have 6 legs. The weight of a big 12-foot table is almost 1 ton and generally the weight of a snooker table is the equivalent weight of 2 men per leg. So a 4-leg table is half a ton up to the full ton for an 8 leg table.
Most of the weight of a snooker table is in the slate of course. The thickness of the slate is usually 1 inch up to 1-¾ inches for the tournament tables. The smaller tables usually have a single piece of slate for tables up to 8 feet. Those pieces of slate are very heavy and would need 3 guys to lift it, and the bigger tables have their slate cut into 3 or 5 pieces so the slate can be lifted and then assembled at the customers house. This is why snooker tables should be professionally installed.
When the snooker table is put together, the frame is assembled first and that has large wooden cross members to put the slate on. The slate is the put onto the frame and if the slate is in separate pieces they are aligned to provide a perfectly flat surface so the gap between the individual pieces is virtually non-existent. The cloth is then stretched over the slate and stapled to the frame to keep the cloth taught. The cushions which already have the rubber and cloth prepared, are then bolted to the frame. The pockets are made from metal and leather are screwed into the side rails last of all.
So if you are thinking of buying a snooker table, first determine what size table will fit in your room and then decide what colour wood would be best in your room from light coloured ash to the dark mahogany. The weight of the table is spread between lots of legs and a standard floor type is usually quite sufficient. Then think of what it would be like to have your own snooker table, the look and feel of it, and enjoy.
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