Can a Pool Table Slate Warp?

Can a pool table slate warp?

The short answer is: Yes, a pool table slate can warp.

But that is more likely if you make the mistakes mentioned below.

You can also reduce the chances of warping by following the steps mentioned in the article.

Purpose of the Pool Table Slate

The purpose of a pool table is to provide a perfectly level surface. Billiard balls can move freely without hindrance on this surface. Free movement is necessary to enjoy the game.

The slate is an important part of a pool table. This is where the action happens. But, the material can possibly warp under its own weight with time.

Also read: How to Tell If Pool Table Is Slate? 

However, there are certain precautions that you can use to stop this from happening.

Factors to Consider When Picking a Pool Table Slate

The slate should be designed for durability. You will need to buy a pool table from a reputable brand. With the right precautions in place, you can prevent the warping of the slate.

After a long time, in case there are any signs of warping, you can then call in professionals to repair the damage.

Pool slate refers to the stone slab that is under the pool table felt. The material is waterproof and allows cue balls to roll with minimal friction.

Slate warping is the biggest concern concerning pool table maintenance.

If the pool table slate warps too much, it may eventually collapse and the surface may then become unplayable.

How Can Pool Table Slate Warp?

There are two varieties of pool tables in terms of slate. These include three-piece and one-piece slates.

A one-piece slab can be hard to move due to its size. Due to its size and weight, this kind of slab has a higher risk of sagging.

The other pool table variety has three-piece slabs. The key advantage of this sort of construction is that it comprises multiple pieces. Even if one of the pieces goes askew, you can work on it individually to correct the problem.

This will entail minimal disturbance for the remaining pieces. The three pieces are separate, lighter, and smaller in size. Thus there is less chance of warping or sagging.

There are two basic kinds of defects. The middle of the slate may move downward while the rest of the slate remains level.

In such a case, the slate is said to sag. Or the rest of the slate remains in the original position, while the center moves upwards. Then you have a crown.

What causes Pool Table Slate to Warp

The most common reason for slate warping is pool table rough usage. Don’t throw the balls or bounce them on the slab.

This will damage both the slab and the balls. You must prevent kids from wreaking havoc and damaging the table with their antics.

Do not use the pool table for keeping drinks. It may be tempting to think of it as just another table, but this can lead to damage in ways that most do not realize.

Slate is also not completely waterproof. So dropping drinks is a fine way of ruining it. Allowing condensation from ice-cool drinks to fall onto the slate is another way.

If a room is warm and humid, then this could mean that the slate is absorbing more moisture with time. So you should ensure that the pool table is in an air-conditioned room that remains cool.

How to Stop Slate from Warping

If you maintain your pool table well and store it safely when not in use, then it can last for a long time without warping.

To prevent the slate on your pool table from warping, you should follow the steps below.

  • Do not drop balls on the pool table, set them up gently.
  • Don’t allow children to play.
  • Don’t sit on the pool table or put anything else on it besides the cue balls and pool equipment.
  • Avoid keeping drinks on the table, spilling liquid or keeping any food on it.
  • Keep the pool table in an air-conditioned room that remains cool all the time.

Maybe you are sure that you will not be using your pool table and you want to store it. Then you should do so carefully so that the slate does not warp.

Moving the pool table and storing sounds like a straightforward task. The only trouble is that it involves a lot of sweating, muscle, and work.

If you want to store your pool table without having it warp, you must take it apart. One major issue is that pool table slate can be heavy. This can make the task extremely challenging.

The instructions shown below are general. They contain the best practices that can be applied to most tables.

However, your pool table may have specific features that require special treatment. Thus, you will have to consult the user manual for moving your table safely.

Be sure to read it carefully before taking the table apart and storing it.

You will need the following tools and equipment.

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Socket wrench
  • Packing tape or strong twining
  • Sealable plastic bags
  • Bubble wrap
  • 8 to 10 moving blankets
  • Staple remover
  • Safety goggles
  • Power drill
  • Bungee cords
  • Moving box
  • High-density plastic sheeting
  • Scissors

You will need a couple of strong helping hands to do the job.

Here are the steps involved:

Take Out the Pockets

You must remove the screws or perhaps staples holding the pockets.

Keep the pockets inside the moving box. Keep the screws and other small parts on the sealable bag.

Disengage the Rails

Disengage pool table rails and take them out gently.

Keep the rails on the moving blankets. Store the screws and small parts on the sealable plastic bag.

Remove the Felt

Take out the felt carefully from the pool table. It may be glued or stapled in place.

To reach the slate, you must remove it. Store the felt carefully in a box or plastic bag.

Lift the Slate

This is where you will need strong assistants to do the heavy lifting. If the slate is in one piece, then the job will be more arduous. Slates can weigh between 400 and 800 pounds. Use the power drill for removing screws.

Don safety goggles before using the drill. Lift the slate (or slates) carefully with the help of assistants. Keep them in the moving blankets.

Flip the Frame and Dismantle

Turn over the frame. It will now weigh much less now that the slate is gone. Take out the legs by removing the screws. Keep the screws, nuts, and bolts in a plastic bag.

Keep the legs in the bubble wrap and store them in the moving blankets. Use packing tape to secure the bundles.

With help from your assistants, keep the bundles and wrapped slates on the hand truck. Take it to the storage site. You can use the bungee cord for safely mounting slates on the hand truck.

The storage site should have good temperature control. The slate or the wooden frames will not warp.


With the right level of care, you can prevent the pool table slate from warping.

Thus, you can enjoy a great game of pool without any problem for years.

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