Pool tables need to be perfectly level in order for the physics of pool to work as it should. If your cue ball makes a distinct veer toward the middle of your pool table, you’re probably wondering if maybe you have a problem with a warped slate.
But can slate pool table warp? Most well-maintained and high-quality slate pool tables will not warp or sag. One-piece slate, thin slate, and mistreated slate are more prone to warping. Slate will not warp as quickly or as drastically as pool tables with wooden beds.
There’s a lot of opinions out there about whether or not slate pool tables can warp or not, and we are here to clear up some of that. In this article, we will discuss what causes a pool table to warp and what else might be causing your cue ball to wander in unanticipated ways.
What Causes Slate Pool Tables to Warp?
Just because slate is a rock doesn’t mean it won’t warp. Sagging pool tables are a real problem and make playing pool challenging, and not in a good way. For more on slate, check out our post on whether slate is better.
You might not even be able to see the warping or sagging, but when you go to make your shot, you’ll notice it for sure because the cue ball will not behave as it should, especially when taking slow shots.
So let’s take a look at some of the leading causes of warping and sagging slate:
- Improperly supported one-piece slate: Some manufacturers looking to get cheap pool tables to the public, skimp on the supports under a one-piece slate. Without the additional support, a one-piece slate will likely begin to sag over time.
- Mistreating the table: A pool table should not be walked on, sat on, or used to change lightbulbs. The only thing that should touch the bed of a pool table is the triangle, the balls, and whatever you use to clean it. Don’t let your pet on the pool table!
- Water damage: Although slate is considered waterproof, it can still get damaged by water and moisture if consistently exposed to it. Don’t let people put their drinks on the pool table.
- Be gentle with the slate: Don’t plunk your cue ball down on the table. This can lead to damage, which in turn will cause sagging.
- Thin Slate: Slate should be at least 3/4 of an inch thick. Anything less than that will likely sag over time.
If you’re concerned about your slate warping and you haven’t purchased one yet, go for a three-piece slate with a slate thickness of at least 3/4 inch or greater.
If you already have a pool table, focus on taking good care of it and protecting it from damage.
Cleaning the pool table is also important. Check out our post on the topic!
Cute, but don’t do it!
Can You Fix Warped Slate?
We don’t have the best news for you’re here. If your slate is only slightly warped, it is possible that leveling can offset the effects of the warping, but in general, you can’t repair a warped slate. You’ll have to have the slate replaced, which doesn’t come cheap.
However, before you go out there overhauling the slate, there are other things that could be causing your wandering cue ball issues other than sag.
- The table has settled or otherwise become unlevel.
- The floor of your house is no longer level.
- The felt needs to be replaced.
- Your three-piece slate has shifted.
- Damage to the frame, including water damage.
If any of these might be the issue, it is best to have this handled before worrying about warped slate. Slate doesn’t warp readily or easily, so it is much more likely that your problem lies somewhere else.