Slate is usually considered to be the best surface for pool and billiard tables. Traditionally the best pool table slate is thought to come from Liguria, an area in Northern Italy. Not surprisingly Liguria slate is the most expensive surface for pool tables.
Other sources of cheaper slate include India, Brazil and China. For the average person who just wants to play pool in the rec room, one of these cheaper slates will probably suffice. Slate pool tables will generally cost more than ones with artificial surfaces.
Most of the cheaper pool and billiard tables sold online and at the large furniture stores have playing surfaces made of synthetic materials such as Slatron and Permaslate. Other materials used in the construction of these tables include honeycomb and high density fiberboard.
Buying a Slate Pool Table
When you are buying a slate billiard table or pool table you should always make sure that you are getting real slate. In particular you should be leery whenever you see a slate pool table for sale at a low price. Less than honest furniture outlets will try to sell pool tables with cheap artificial surfaces as slate because it can be hard for average people to tell the difference between artificial materials and real slate.
A real slate bed pool table will probably cost several hundred dollars and it probably won’t be possible to get a slate table for less than that price new. A table made of Liguria slate will probably cost quite a bit more. It is often possible to find a good deal on such a pool table by shopping around online and elsewhere.
Another suggestion is to look for a used pool table. Used pool and billiard tables even slate billiard tables often sale for much less than new ones. Always check used pool tables because they can be worn out from years of play. Tables from bars and pool halls can be in very bad condition by the time they reach the used market. One thing to watch out for is used pool tables that have been refinished. These may look like they are in good condition even if the slate is in bad condition.