Pool tables of offer hours, sometimes even generations, of entertainment. So of course you want to take your best shot learning how to move a pool table when the time comes, and we’re here to help.
Know this first: you are likely going to have to take the table apart to move it. But if you’re a handy person, doing it yourself is possible. Putting the pool table back together in your new place, and leveling it correctly, well you could end up behind the eight ball if you don’t work with a professional.
“It’s not worth the risk,” said Fred Avelar, owner of SoCal Pool Tables. “Only a pro can do it the way it should be done.”
Read on for some expert advice on how to move a pool table.
The Best Way to Move a Pool Table: Take it Apart!
Just like for the game itself, you’ve got to have strategy and focus to cue up your pool table for a move. This usually means taking it apart. After all, these babies can weigh more than 1,000 pounds.
“It is safer for yourself and the table, and easier, to carry in pieces,” says Brett Friedland, who with his brother, Chase, owns Quality Pool Table Movers in Santa Monica. “Otherwise it takes about six people. And the railings are not designed to hold the weight of a table.”
The exception is if you are moving the game table into another room of the same house on the same floor—with enough space to roll it on dollies. Many pool tables are very heavy because beneath their soft felt they are made of slate rock. But if you have a budget table made of a lighter material that is only a couple hundred pounds, (still a lot!) you could try to move it yourself as one piece, said Friedland.
Pool Table Preplanning
Plan on setting aside plenty of time to move a pool table, spending at least 45 minutes on taking it apart and two hours or more to set it back up again with help from a professional. If it’s a really difficult, ornate, or expensive table, the Friedlands will sometimes spend more than five hours to fine tune!
You should closely inspect your table before moving to make sure it is in good condition with no broken pieces that need repairs. It could also need new cushions or felt. If so, replace these after the move when you are ready to reassemble.
Size up the pathway of your move, whether any stairs are involved, the size of the pool table and how small you can break it down. This will help you decide how many friends to enlist, and how much thank-you food and libations to order for afterwards.
“Slate is very fragile,” said Chase Friedland. “We carry it two people for one piece of slate. Other times we’ll dolly it. You don’t want a 300-pound piece falling on you.”
Of course both Avelar and the Friedland brothers both recommend lining up a sturdy vehicle, such as a van or truck, to move the table.
For the move and to disassemble your table, you will also want to be sure you have the right tools on hand: a couple of different drills, screwdrivers, moving blankets and roll dollies. You’ll also want at least a two-person team.
The professionals have seen it all, and have some pretty difficult moves behind them. The Friedlands had to remove a door off its hinges to move the slate through the 35-inch opening and down a winding staircase.
If that is your new house, it’s still not too late to call the professionals instead of saving a couple hundred bucks. Just be sure to let your helpers in on your plans early on since it is very rare that a pool table can be moved the same or even the day after you call, says Avelar.
Game Day: Disassembling the Table
Start taking the table apart by first removing the staples or screws in the areas of felt tucked in the six pockets.
Next, loosen the bolts that hold the rails to the slate and remove them individually. Pull off the felt.
Then, loosen the slate by removing the screws that hold it to the table frame. Remove the screws one by one.
“Most tables are in three piece slates,” Avelar said. “If it’s in one piece, God help you.”
Last, disassemble that table frame into moveable pieces. To reassemble, follow the steps in reverse once you get to the new location.
“When we’re done, our cloth is pulled tighter,” Friedland said of a professional job, rolling his finger smoothly along the felt surface of a finished tabled at his office. “It’s not supposed to move.”
The Cost to Move a Pool Table with a Mover
The cost to have a professional move a table can start at $350, depending on the area and company, if there are no stairs involved. If driving distance is longer or the move is more complicated, the price will increase. A lot of moves fall into this category, Brett Friedland said.
If the work is just to disassemble a table and put it away in storage, the cost can run approximately $225.
“Anybody can take apart a pool table with some basic knowledge,” said Brett Friedland. “Putting it together, you have to know what you’re doing.”