How to Move a Pool Table: Helpful Tips
Game rooms are increasingly becoming a staple in most modern homes today.
Whether it’s a room within the house segregated for table football and air hockey, a detached man cave that houses a pool table and other trappings of fancy, or a family room equipped with everything from board games to a floor-to-ceiling entertainment center, game rooms are no longer just a preserve of MTV Cribs participants.
Changing market trends have seen people start reimagining home recreation, something that has led to game rooms becoming an essential addition in many homes even for Joe Blow. The COVID period only served to accelerate this uptake.
And guess the most popular feature in many American home game rooms?
That’s correct: the pool table.
We don’t need to harp on about the sense of enjoyment that pool tables bring. However, what we can assure you is that when it comes to pool table moving, this will likely not make it to your list of top 10 favorite moments.
What Equipment is Needed to Move a Pool Table?
Moving a pool table is tedious business. Which is not hard to understand when you consider this is probably the heaviest item in your home.
The average pool table weighs anywhere between 700 and 1,000 pounds depending on the construction materials. Due to this massive weight (and bulkiness), moving a pool table is not child’s play. Throw in the fact that the best way to move a pool table is by dismantling it and it becomes an entire level of challenge to deal with altogether.
But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible either.
What you’ll need is the knowhow to disassemble, the right tools for the job, and a well-fed team at the ready. We’ll address the first two aspects in this post and leave you to take care of the third – deal?
The best way to move a pool table is to hire a professional mover versed with the craft of pool table moving. However, if for some reason or another you plan to do it yourself versus hiring a professional mover, you need to gather the appropriate materials and supplies to aid your cause.
Here’s what you need for a pool table move:
- Measuring tape;
- Flathead screwdriver;
- Power drill;
- Carpenter’s level;
- Socket wrench;
- Staple puller or remover for detaching the felt lining;
- Plastic bags for holding screws, bolts, and components such as side pockets and rails;
- Packing tape;
- Stretch wrap;
- Bubble wrap;
- Moving blankets;
- Furniture dolly.
How to Move a Pool Table by Yourself
As you would expect, the process of transporting a pool table is akin to pushing a piano up the hill, so prepare to work up a sweat.
If you’re planning to move a pool table, you have two options:
Moving a pool table by dismantling it.
While it’s time-consuming, this is the more ideal option to move a pool table. Sometimes, it might be the only option available to you, especially if there are stairs involved and narrow doorways to navigate through. If you’re not adept at such handy tasks, you will need to enlist some help, professional or otherwise. Even if you plan to put away your table in a storage unit, remember that most facilities might require you to take apart your pool table first as it’s not among the list of items that can’t be stored in a self-storage unit.
Moving a pool table without taking it apart.
Yes, pool table moving is possible without having to disassemble, provided there are no stairs involved and the area is spacious enough to navigate. However, we would recommend hiring expert help for this as a simple misstep could virtually render your pool table useless. Otherwise, the handlers need to exercise maximum caution because while you may escape serious damage on your pool table, there’s not much fun in playing on an uneven table.
You only need muscle for the second method, so let’s walk you through the first: how to move a pool table by disassembling it:
- Step 1: Gather the necessary moving equipment and supplies. We have already outlined the materials you need to move a pool table;
- Step 2: Rent a moving truck. Unless you own a spacious pickup truck, you need to rent one for the pool table moving as even a minivan won’t cut it. A standard pool table measures between 7-9 feet in length, but you can always use your tape measure to make sure;
- Step 3: Find some help. Moving a pool table alone is not feasible, even if it’s disassembled. Enlist the help of a few friends or family members to help out. The more you can convince, the better;
- Step 4: Measure the passageways. Sure, you are not lifting the table as-is, but it’s important to have an idea of how much space you will be moving the table due to the larger components such as the slate and cabinets.
So, go ahead and measure the doorways, hallways, and staircases. As well, don‘t forget to confirm whether the destination location is spacious enough to accommodate the table;
- Step 5: Start disassembling. This is one of the two most critical steps when moving a pool table; the other being reassembly. Start with the six table pockets by removing the staples that hold them in place. You will need a staple remover or screwdriver depending on how the ball pockets on your table are attached.
After that, take a socket wrench and start working on the side rails. Detach each side rail gently once you have removed the bolts and screws. Keep these in a clearly-labeled plastic bag to avoid losing or misplacing them.
Once that is done, move to the felt (the green/blue/red cloth on the slate) and take your time to extract the staples that hold it in place using a staple remover, before packing it away. The next step is to remove the slate: the heaviest component on your pool table which takes up almost half of the table’s entire weight. For this step, you need a power drill in order to remove the screws effortlessly, in addition to several pairs of hands. After unscrewing the slate, lift it gently with the help of your assistants and place it on the floor or lean it against a wall.
With the pockets, rails, and slate out of the way, the final step is to remove the main body and legs. You might want to turn the table sideways or upside-down in order to work better. Then proceed to remove each table leg, making sure to keep the weight distribution even to avoid damage or slipping. You can use a drill to unscrew the legs;
- Step 6: Wrapping and labeling. Once you are done disassembling, the next step when moving a pool table is to wrap the individual components. Use bubble wrap to shield the pockets, rails, and legs. Wrap each part separately, before securing the bubble wrap with packing tape. The slate is best wrapped in blankets, so once you are done applying the cushion, secure the blanket in place with stretch wrap.
With everything wrapped and secured, label each component clearly. This will prove super useful when you get down to reassembling the pool table in its new spot.
Finally, finish by loading the components of your disassembled pool table onto the moving truck;
- Step 7: Reassembly. The next step after pool table transportation is to reassemble your pool table. This will basically involve repeating the dismantling process steps in reverse order. So, with your helpers, begin by reattaching the legs to the main body. Next, add the slate and screw it in before putting the felt lining on top and stapling it in place. If need be, consider replacing the liner. After that, attach the rails one-by-one and finish by adding the pockets.
The trickiest part when reassembling a pool table is keeping it level and ensuring the felt is straight and smooth. This is where the carpenter’s level will come in handy. Level the slate before adding the felt. Not all floors are even, so use the carpenter’s level to assess the gradient. If need be, apply shims to level out the legs which should also help with weight distribution. The idea is to ensure the ball does not roll on its own when placed on any section of the table, so that should inform you if you’ve done your part right.
That is it!
How to Move a Pool Table if You Cannot Do it by Yourself
Not many owners look forward to moving a pool table by themselves, and understandably so.
The easiest way to move a pool table is to hire professional help, but the downside that puts off many from pursuing this option is that moving companies charge a premium for it. And you cannot really blame them.
If you come to the conclusion that this is the most ideal option for you, it’s worth noting that not all professional movers offer this specialty service; because that’s what it is: a specialty service. That said, always look for a licensed moving and storage company that specifically offers pool moving service.
They are best placed to disassemble, transport, and reassemble your pool table since it’s one of the offerings on their laundry list of services. Should you need storage space, they can provide that too; probably come and do the dismantling themselves and deliver the table to their facilities without involving you.
As you can see, moving a pool table is not easy. We recommend hiring a specialist mover that offers pool table moving services if you can afford it.
If not, enlist the help of a few people to help you out. Preferably, you should move your table by taking it apart first, although you need to be ready to deal with the reassembling conundrum.
Remember, putting it together is one thing, but ensuring the pool table is up to snuff is another.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much does a pool table weigh?
Depends. The construction materials that have gone into its construction largely determine a table’s weight, in addition to its size and design.
That said, most standard pool tables fall between 700 and 1,000 pounds.
How to move a pool table upstairs?
Moving a pool table upstairs requires you to disembowel it and carry it piece by piece. Trying to move it intact is a fool’s errand and will likely result in failure 10 out of 10 times.
There’s no need to take shortcuts when moving a pool table upstairs (or downstairs) as that can leave you with crazy costs and injuries to contend with. In fact, moving a pool table upstairs intact is definitely on the list of 1000 Ways to Die!
How to disassemble a pool table by yourself?
Assuming you have the right tools and materials in place, start by detaching the pockets and then move to the rails. Each rail will typically have 3-4 bolts underneath. Next, proceed to unstaple the felt (aka the lining on the playing surface) carefully so as not to tear it, and then fold it.
From there, with the help of some extra hands, remove the slate cautiously and place it against a wall or on the floor. Then finish by taking out the table legs.