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Are Non Slate Pool Tables Any Good? How To Decide If One Is Right For You?

Updated January 10th, 2024

Are non slate pool tables any good

There are a lot of different types of pool tables on the market these days. Slate, non-slate, commercial, home…the list goes on. So which one is right for you? In this blog post, we will take a look at the pros and cons of non-slate pool tables. We will also discuss the different types of non-slate pool tables available and help you decide which one is right for you. Let’s get started!

Are non slate pool tables any good? Pros and cons of non slate tables

There are a few pros and cons to consider when it comes to non slate pool tables.

First, let’s take a look at the pros:

  • Non slate pool tables are typically cheaper than slate pool tables. If you are on a budget, this may be the way to go. A slate table will cost 2 to 10 times as much as a non-slate pool table.
  • Non slate pool tables are often lighter than slate bed pool tables. This can be a benefit if you are moving the table around often or if you have limited space. A typical 6 foot slate pool table weighs 500 lbs. A typical MDF or Laminate billiard table weighs 180 lbs. Expect to pay professionals if you ever need to move a slate pool table.

Now, let’s take a look at the cons:

  • Non slate pool tables typically require more maintenance than slate pool tables. This is because they are more susceptible to warping and other damage. High humidity and temperate changes will cause a non-slate pool table to warp over time.
  • Non slate pool tables are not as durable as slate pool tables. This means that they may need to be replaced more often. If you plan to keep your pool table in the garage or somewhere with pool climate control, you can expect a non-slate table to not last as long.
  • Non slate pool tables have a playing surface that is not as level or smooth as a slate bed pool table. This can affect your game play and make it more difficult to shoot accurately. On the brighter side it does give you an excuse to blame the table when you miss that easy shot.

ALSO READ: Are You Putting A Pool Table In The Garage? – 10 Helpful Tips To Do It Right

Different types of non slate pool tables

Now that we have looked at the pros and cons of non slate pool tables, let’s take a look at the different types of non slate pool tables available. There are two main types:

Laminate also known as slatron or permaslate: Laminate consists of layers of plastic glued on top of a piece of MDF or particle board. It is designed to simulate the best qualities of slate without the weight and cost. It is resistant to moisture, rot, and insect damage. It is typically less expensive than slate and it is fairly durable. Slatron has a surface that is 20 times more dense than MDF making it an ideal pool table play surface. However, it is not as level as slate and it can be scratched more easily.

MDF: MDF, or Medium Density Fiberboard, is another type of material that is often used for non slate tables. MDF is made of wood fibers and resin. It is a composite material that is strong and durable. It is typically more expensive than laminate but it is also more level and smoother.

Laminate Pool table pros and cons


  • Laminate is a cheaper alternative to slate that performs almost as well
  • Laminate is more durable and less prone to warping than MDF or plywood pool tables
  • Laminate is typically lighter than slate.


  • Laminate is not as level or smooth as slate
  • Laminate can be scratched more easily than slate
  • Laminate is heavier than MDF
  • Laminates such as slatron and permaslate are more expensive than MDF or plastic honeycomb

MDF Pool table pros and cons


  • MDF is less expensive than laminate. MDF pool tables tend to be the cheapest tables available.
  • MDF is lighter than laminate. If you need an easy to move pool table, MDF or particle board is the way to go.


  • MDF is more prone to warping and moisture damage than laminate or slate
  • MDF can be scratched more easily than slate or laminate
  • MDF pool tables will have the shortest lifespan no matter how well they are maintained.

How to decide if a non slate pool table is right for me?

Now that you know the different types of non slate pool tables available, how do you decide which is the best pool table for you? You can buy both American pool tables and English pool tables of various sizes in both slate and non-slate. There are a lot of options out there at many price points. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Your budget: As we mentioned before, non slate pool tables are typically 2 to 10 times cheaper than slate pool tables. However, there are a wide range of prices depending on the material and size. so be sure to consider your budget when making your decision.
  • Your needs: Consider what you need the pool table for. If you are a serious player, you may want to invest in a more expensive and level table. However, if you are just looking for a fun addition to your home, a cheaper option may be fine.
  • Your space: Consider the amount of space you have available for the pool table. If you have limited space, you may want to choose a lighter and smaller table. The larger a pool table is, the more noticeable warping and other defects becomes. If you want a full size table, you should look at better materials such as slatron laminate or even slate.
  • Do you plan on moving in the future? If so, you may want to choose a lighter table that is easier to move. A slate pool table will need expensive professional movers to move even within your own home. It can cost $1000s to move a slate table to a different location in addition to the costs of regular movers.
  • Your skills: Are you a beginner or an expert? If you are just starting out, you may want to go with a cheaper table. As your skills improve, you can upgrade to a better quality table.

Tips for purchasing a quality non slate pool table

If you have decided that a non slate pool table is right for you, there are a few things you can do to ensure that you are purchasing a quality table. Here are a few tips:

  • Read reviews: Be sure to read reviews before purchasing any pool table. This will help you get an idea of the quality of the table and what others think of it.
  • Inspect the table: If possible, inspect the table in person before purchasing it. This will allow you to see the levelness and smoothness of the surface.
  • Play a game on the table if you can: Nothing brings out the feel of a table better than playing on it.
  • Ask questions: Be sure to ask any questions you have before purchasing the table. This will help you make an informed decision and ensure that you are happy with your purchase.

Who makes the best non-slate pool tables?

When it comes to non-slate pool tables, there are two brands that stand out above the rest: Hathaway and Barrington. Hathaway games tables are known for their exceptional build quality and attention to detail. They use high-quality materials and construction techniques, resulting in a table that will withstand heavy use. Barrington tables, on the other hand, offer a great value for the price. They are made with lower-quality materials but are still very sturdy and well-made. In addition, Barrington offers a wide variety of styles and designs, so you can find a table that matches your home décor. Ultimately, both Hathaway and Barrington make great non-slate pool tables. It just depends on your budget and your personal preferences.

Recommended non-slate pool tables

Barrington Springdale 90 Inch Claw Leg Billiard Table Set

Barrington Springdale 90 Inch Table Set product image

Hathaway Fairmont Portable 6-Ft Pool Table

Hathaway Fairmont-Portable Pool Table product image

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About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am a homeowner and love having get togethers and finding the best things to make spending time at home easier and more fun. We spend a lot of time at home so why shouldn’t we have a great time there?  I decided to start Great Home Gear as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things home living with everyone.