Why Pool Tables Warp and How to Prevent It? (Tips and Tricks)

pool tables

A pool table is a nice addition to any home. It lets you have a competitive game to play when you have company over. When not taken care of though, pool tables can warp. Warping can cause the table to sag and make it harder to play pool.  

Pool tables often warp when you drop cue balls, when you use the pool table as a place to hold drinks, or when there is excessive moisture around the table. You need to make sure you are keeping your pool table in a dry environment. 

This article will discuss more in-depth why pool tables warp and the most common causes of why the slate becomes damaged. We will also discuss tips for how to prevent the table from warping. 

Why Do Pool Tables Warp? 

The part of the pool table that is susceptible to warping is the slate. If the slate is warped down continuously, you’ll find that it might collapse on itself. You might also find that the slate becomes uneven and then it becomes harder to play. 

Some pool tables will warp more than others. This is because pool tables come in two different kinds. The first is a one-piece slate. One-piece slate tables are heavy and hard to move so it is more likely to warp and sag. 

Three-piece slate tables allow you to level the pieces better to the floor. They are also very lightweight and less likely to warp. 

You can tell your slate is warping when it begins to sag. Any area of the table can sag, but it’s more common in the middle.

Not Using Pool Equipment Correctly 

When using the pool table, you want to make sure the cue balls do not drop down onto the slate. This can easily cause it to warp. Make sure you and everyone that is playing with you are careful with the cue balls. Dropping them can also damage the balls themselves. 

You should also take care to set up the balls properly. Also, don’t let children play with the balls or around the pool table. 

Exposure to Food and Drinks

Never put drinks or food directly onto the table’s slate. Make sure you always use coasters or even better, do not allow people to eat or drink around the table while playing. Not only does it damage the slate, but spills can also damage the felt on the pool table. 

Exposure to Moisture

Pool tables can warp easily when the room has excessive moisture. Pool tables should not be kept in the garage or the basement unless there is air conditioning. The more moisture that is in the air, the faster your table will warp. 

Tips for Preventing Warping 

Now that you know how the table can be warped, let’s go over some tips for making sure your table stays in perfect condition.

Here are some tips:

  • Set the cue balls gently onto the table
  • Do not let children or pets walk on the table 
  • Do not put anything on the table except for the balls and the triangle 
  • Do not eat or drink around the table 
  • Make sure the pool table’s room is dry and cool 

Now, let’s see how to repair a warped pool table.

How to Repair a Warped Pool Table 

If you already have a warped pool table, you might be wondering if there are ways you can repair it. There are some ways to repair warping. These ways only really help if you are repairing the warping as soon as you notice it though. 

Once the table is significantly warped, you will not be able to repair it. You will just have to buy a new pool table which can be expensive. 

Here are some steps to repair warping:

  1. Remove the felt covering and the plywood surfaces. 
  2. Put the plywood on a flat surface and water it down with a hose.
  3. Weight the wood down with heavy stones or other large objects. 
  4. Allow it to dry completely. 
  5. Remove the now flat boards and put them back on the table. 
  6. Test that the table is level by rolling around some cue balls. 
  7. Reapply the felt cover with spray adhesive
  8. Recheck the level with cue balls after putting down the adhesive. 

If this does not work, you might have to take your pool table to a professional billiard company and see if they can fix it. Many of these companies can also send someone to your house to check the table. 

Final Thoughts 

Pool tables warp when the cue balls are dropped often or when the room is excessively humid. You can prevent warping by taking care of your pool equipment, not drinking around the table, and making sure the environment is cool and dry.


Benny is the owner of Supreme Billiards and has been shooting pool and teaching people how to shoot pool for a few years now. He enjoys showing new players techniques and drills to improve their pool game.

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