Refelting Your Pool Table: Signs It's Time and How to Do It Right

A guy refelting a table done in a minimalistic line art style
Matt Graham Matt Graham

    Is your pool table feeling a bit off lately? The felt on your pool table is crucial for smooth gameplay, and over time, it can wear out, affecting your shots and overall game experience. Knowing when to refelt and how to care for your table can ensure years of enjoyable play. Here's a direct and succinct guide to help you make the right call.

    Signs It's Time to Refelt

    • Impaired Play: If the balls aren't rolling smoothly, veering off course, or the play feels sluggish, your felt might be the culprit. This is a telltale sign that it's time for a change.
    • Visible Damage: Look for obvious signs of wear and tear such as nicks, rips, and fading. These not only affect the look of your table but can also impact play quality.
    • Texture Changes: Felt that feels rough, wrinkly, or appears to be fraying is a clear indicator that it's worn out and needs replacing.
    • Balls Catching: When balls start catching in the pockets or the felt is visibly worn in areas, it's a sign that the felt is deteriorating and needs attention.

    Caring for Your Pool Table Felt

    • Avoid Moisture: Keep the table dry; moisture is the enemy of pool felt, leading to warping and damage.
    • Clean Spills Quickly: Tackle any spills with a mixture of water and detergent to prevent stains and moisture damage.
    • Regular Maintenance: Brushing and occasionally vacuuming your table can extend the life of your felt by removing chalk and debris.

    The Refelting Process: DIY or Professional?

    While some may venture into DIY territory, refelting a pool table requires precision and the right tools. It's often best left to professionals who can ensure the felt is properly stretched and secured, providing a smooth playing surface. If you're noticing loose, torn, or excessively worn felt, or if you're simply tired of the old color, it might be time for a refresh.

    The life expectancy of pool table felt varies based on usage and care but typically ranges from a few years to over a decade. Regular maintenance, including using a table cover and proper cleaning techniques, can significantly prolong this lifespan.


    Recognizing the signs of wear and understanding the importance of timely refelting are key to maintaining your pool table's condition and your enjoyment of the game. Whether it's due to visible damage, changes in texture, or just a desire for a new look, refelting can breathe new life into your table. Remember, proper care extends the life of the felt, ensuring many years of enjoyable play.


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