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

pool table in the garage

Do you want to play pool at home? Is your garage the only empty space you have available to put a pool table? You should consider putting a pool table in the garage then. There are many advantages to having a pool table at home and a garage can be the perfect place to put it. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about putting a pool table in your garage.

1 – Can you put a pool table in the garage?

You absolutely can put a pool table in your garage. Let’s be honest. Most of us don’t have houses with a living room big enough to put a full size pool table along with a couch, TV, and other furniture. A garage is a great alternative. With proper care, it can last for years. Some outdoor pubs and bars have an outdoor pool table exposed to the elements like rain and snow. They still last a while. There is no reason to be afraid of putting a table in your garage.

outdoor billiard table
Playing pool outdoors

2 – Why should you get a pool table?

Having your own pool table gives you a lot more options for playing. You aren’t limited to the hours your local pool hall is open. You can play whatever time of day or night you feel like it. You can invite your friends over to play whenever you want. You don’t have to wait for an open table somewhere. You can play now no matter how busy the bars are that night. You can get lots of practice in since you can squeeze in time for pool during any bit of free time.

3 – How much space do you need for a pool table in your garage?

You need clear space around your pool table to be able to swing a cue stick around and shoot with it. You need the length or width of your pool table plus 2 times the length of the cue stick to have adequate space to play. For a 7 foot table with 48inch cue sticks, you need 7 ft plus 4ft (48″) plus 4ft = 15 feet for the length. For the width you need 3.5 ft plus 4 ft * 2 = 11.5 feet. For a regulation 7 foot pool table that you plan to use with 48″ cue sticks, you need a 15 x 11.5 foot space.

space-needed-for-a-pole-table

What is a regulation size pool table?

A regulation size pool table is twice as long as it is wide. A 7 ft regulation table is 7 x 3.5. An 8 ft pool table is 8ft x 4ft and so on.

Common pool table sizes

There are 4 common sizes for pool tables. 6ft, 7ft, 8ft, and 9 ft.

6 foot pool tables are a small space saving table. They are good if you don’t have much space. They are easy to play on. The balls will bunch up a lot. They are good for learning pool since aim isn’t as critical as a larger table.

7 foot pool tables are the standard coin operated table you find at pubs and bars. They are sometimes referred to as a “bar box”. If you want to practice to get better at the local bar this is a good size table to have. The majority of English pool tables are also 7 foot. There are other differences between an American and English pool table including the cushion shape, pocket shape, and felt.

8 foot tables are known as “Tournament tables”. This is the standard size for amateur competition. Balls spread out more with less bunching on this size table. Accuracy becomes a lot more important.

9 foot tables are “regulation size” for professional competition. This is the size table you see used on ESPN tournaments. Balls spread out a lot on this table slowing down gameplay a lot. Shot accuracy is important. This table will feel really large compared to the 7 footer at the local bar. If you have dreams of being a professional pool player buy this size. For everyone else, get a 7 or 8 footer.

See this article from Colorado State Billards to learn more about pool table sizes.

Cue stick sizes

Standard size cue sticks are 36″, 48″, 52″, and 58″.

58″ or 57″ is the most common cue stick length used. They are good for people from 5’0″ to 6’2″ tall. People shorter than 5’0″ will find a 52″ stick more comfortable to use.

Many home pool tables are supplied with 48″ cue sticks. This is a common size for homes since they are usable by both adults and children. It’s a good family compromise size that almost anyone can use.

36″ cue sticks are for children. You might find them with a compact table.

See this article from A and C Billiards and Bar Stools to learn more about cue stick sizes.

Standard Garage sizes

An average 1 car garage is 12 feet by 22 feet. An average 2 car garage is 18 feet by 22 feet. An average 3 car garage is 32 feet by 22 feet. See this article from Danley’s Garage World to learn more about garage sizing.

standard garage sizes

The below tables show what size space you need for each size table and cue stick. I highlighted the cue and table sizes that fit in a standard 1 car garage green. I highlighted the cue and table size combinations that fit in a 2 car or larger garage orange.

pool table space needs

As you can see you can fit any size pool table in a 1 car garage with 36″ cue sticks. If you move up to 48″ cue sticks you can fit a 6-8 ft table in a 1 car garage. With 52″ cue sticks, you can only fit a 6 ft table in a 1 car garage. Any size pool table will fit in a 2 or 3 car garage. You need at least a 2 car garage amount of space to use 58″ cue sticks with any size table.

4 – Best type of pool table for garage?

There are 2 main construction materials for a billiard table. Slate bed tables and MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) bed tables.

Even the best heated and cooled garage will not have the best climate control. Humidity and temperature swings will be the enemy of your pool table.

A slate pool table is the best choice for a pool table going in the garage. Slate is a stone material. It is not affected much by temperature and moisture. A slate bed pool table will last much longer in a place with poor climate control than any other type.

MDF tables and wood and will warp or crack if they are exposed to moisture or changes in temperature. Not all MDF table surfaces are sealed. An MDF table is one spilled beer away from being ruined.

See this article from Home Billards to learn more about the differences between slate and MDF pool tables.

5 – How does the garage climate effect a pool table

Humidity causes mold and it causes wood to warp, swell and crack. Over time high humidity will cause MDF table surfaces to warp. It will cause wood pool table legs to warp, swell and crack as well.

Humidity will also cause any metal parts on your table to rust. This includes screws and any other decorative metal.

The pool table cushions will harden due to temperature changes. Don’t expect the cushions and bumpers in your garage pool table to last as long as they would inside your home.

Dry air combined with temperatures changes will cause any leather on your table to dry rot over time.

6 – Playing pool in the garage

Playing pool in your garage can add a few challenges. If you are in an area with cold temperatures, your garage can get cold. Wearing a heavy winter coat can make playing pool much more challenging. You just don’t have the freedom of motion in your arms while wearing a heavy down puffy coat.

One nice advantage to a garage pool table is that you can open the garage door when it’s nice out and have a really pleasant outdoor feel to your game.

Your garage may be full of critters such as insects and spiders. You don’t want to smear bug guts all over your pool table felt. Give your table a bit of cleaning before playing to avoid bug smears on your table.

playing pool solo

7 – How to make a pool table last longer in the garage

Garage insulation, heating, and coolingAdding insulation to your garage will make the temperature more consistent. This will make the wood and cushions of your table last longer. Heating and cooling your garage is even better. It makes your garage much more enjoyable to play pool in when the temperature is not freezing or too hot. Heating and cooling will also help keep the humidity under control. If you live in a cold area, even a space heater will make a big improvement.

See our articles on heating a garage and cooling a garage for more information.

Dehumidifiers and fans – If you live in an area of high humidity a dehumidifier will also help a lot. A ceiling fan to circulate the air will also help prevent mold and other damage.

Cover concrete floors – Cover the floor so you aren’t playing on a bare concrete floor. Concrete transmits cold well and makes you feel cold standing on it. Use carpeting or rubber floor mats around your pool table. A billiard ball falling onto concrete may crack and be damaged. Covering the floor will help avoid cracked and broken billiard balls. Everyone sooner or later shoots the cue ball off the table onto the floor.

Use a pool table cover – It will help keep out the bugs and other undesirables. Garages that are still being used as garages tend to have a lot of dust and other debris too. Covering the table will keep the dust and grime build up away.

Keep your pool table clean – Have a brush handy for cleaning off dust and bugs. You can also use a blower to help clear dust and bugs off the table.

Don’t pile stuff on top of your pool table – Don’t set items on the pool table. Nothing. Not even groceries for a few minutes. It will drastically reduce the life of the felt on your billiards table. If you want to you can use a ping pong table surface on it. That is about the limit for what you should ever set on a pool table. Don’t use it as a workbench or somewhere to sit.

pool table mess
Don’t treat your pool table like this

8 – Leveling pool table in garage

Garage floors are typically graded so that water flows away from the house out of the garage. Garage floors can slope as much as 1 inch per 8 feet. If you set a pool table without leveling it, one side will be lower making things interesting

Many pool tables have built in leg levelers. These make setting up in a garage a lot easier. Just use the levelers to set the table level.

If your table does not have leg levelers you can use shims. Set shims under the lower end of the table to make it level. Try to use shims that are as big as the leg diameter or slightly larger. This will help prevent the table from slipping off the shims and becoming wobbly. Tables with larger sized legs will also be more stable when shimmed.

Regulation height for a pool table is 29.5 to 31″. If you need to shim more than an inch one end of your table may no longer be regulation. This will make it awkward to play on that end. It will feel too high when you are leaning over it.

If possible put the pool table across the slope of the garage. You will have to shim it much less this way. If 8 feet drops 1inch. 4 feet will only drop 1/2inch.

9 – Keeping a car in the garage with your pool table.

Don’t put the table in the middle of the garage. Put it on one side just far enough so that a car can fit on the other side. You don’t need to maintain a cue stick width distance to your car if you can move your car out of the garage when you play. If you want to play with your car in the garage, treat it as one of the walls when calculating space.

Your car exhaust will drop soot, dust, and dirt onto your pool table. Remember to always keep it covered when not in use next to your car.

10 – Things to put in the garage with your pool table

There are a few things you can add to your garage pool room to maximize your garage billiard fun. A garage refrigerator can keep nice cold beverages nearby. A table or stand for setting down drinks is also a good idea. An MDF table is one spilled beer away from being ruined. Give your friends someplace else to put their drinks.

Add a few stools so you can sit down between turns or while taking a break. Some good lighting above the table also makes playing more fun. A TV on the wall lets you watch the game while playing pool. See our article on garage game room tips to learn more.

Wrap up

Having a pool table in your garage can be a lot of fun. With a little care, you can have years of enjoyment from it. Heating and cooling your garage can also help a lot. I hope this helped answer all your questions about putting a pool table in your garage and you are ready to go for it now.

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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.

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