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Can Pool Table Slate Get Wet?

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Have you ever owned a pool table and wondered about what would happen if the slate got wet? Has there ever been a time where water accidentally got spilled on your table and you need to know if it will affect the table? Well, in this article, we will go over everything you need to know about pool tables. 

So can pool table slate get wet?

Although it is not recommended for the tables to be out in the rain as there is wood under the slate, if a drink of water is spilt on the table, it will not ruin the slate. Slate in and of itself does not absorb water, so if some water is spilled it is not that big of a deal. Any water that gets on the table should be dried up as soon as possible so it does not reach the wood and cause the table to warp. 

If you want to know more about pool tables and if slate can get wet, you will want to keep reading. You can also watch this short video to see how pool tables are made, so you know what can and cannot get wet. 

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What is pool?

Pool is a cue game that is played on a green table harking to its early transition where it was played out in nature on grass with mallets and balls. Today it is played on a table with 16 balls in total and a pool cue with which to hit the balls into the six ball pockets. Varying in size and weight, both the balls and the pool cues are an important feature of this elegant game. 

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The pool table is made of wood that is covered with either a one piece of slate or three. Both the systems have its pros and cons regarding which is better to use. The slate is then covered with a piece of felt or velvet that runs almost like silk under the cue ball. The idea is to provide as little resistance to the cue ball and object balls when they are being shot on the table in a certain direction. The top of the slate piece is a flat slab and completely level on the top of the wooden frame.

Pool table slate is placed under the felt of the pool table. It is mostly waterproof and gives the cue balls a frictionless roll. When you own a pool table with a slate covering under the felt the issue that one has to deal with sometimes is the issue of slate warping. Warping is something slate does when it becomes short or collapses on itself or no longer fits in the table top or becomes levelled unevenly. All of these in essence makes any good game impossible to play on. 

What happens if pool table slate gets wet?

Pool tables as stated before comes in two varieties. One piece slate and three piece slate tables. The one-piece slate is a giant slab of heavy slate that is difficult to move and has a habit of sagging or warping over a length of time. The three piece slate is more manageable with the players being able to level it themselves and due to their comparative lightness they also tend to not warp as much as the heavier one piece slate tables. 

Using your pool table in ways it was not meant to can thoroughly damage the stone or slate. Dropping cue balls onto the felt cloth rather than placing them gently will make the slate wrap due to the excessive force. Exposing it to moisture is also a sure fire way to ensure warping of the slate level of the pool table. Slate is nearly waterproof, not fully so. So placing a drink on it without a coaster will just make it suck in moisture seeping into it and ensure that the pool table will end up warping.

Warmer rooms speed up water absorption so placing the pool table in a warm room is a fool proof way of destroying the slate of the pool table, whether one piece or three piece. When slate warps, it sags. This means the middle of the slate slab collapses with the slate in the corners and the borders remain level or even crown. When this happens, the opposite happens where the center remains stationary and the rest of the slate on the pool table entirely disintegrates and collapses.


There are some good maintenance tips that will make sure that your table does not wrap easily and last for years. If you want to stay safe and make sure that your table never warps, you will want to follow these steps. Doing these steps will ensure that you never have any issues with your pool table warping. 

  1. Do not drop cue balls into the table but place them gently.
  2. Don’t spill foods or drinks on the table, cease using it as just another table in fact. It has a particular function and that function is only to play pool.
  3. Do not let children, small or big, as well as pets walk on the pool table as their weight  will be concentrated at one point.
  4. Do not place anything apart from the triangle and the 16 cue balls. Even the pool cue is not to be placed on the table while playing.
  5. Keep the pool table in a room with a cool, temperature so that moisture does not seep into the slate.

Can warping be repaired?

As to how warping can be repaired depends on the kind of warping the pool table has gone through. Before you jump to the conclusion of warping in the table top slate, check for some of the other culprits that may be causing you the actual problem rather than the existence of warping. You will want to do this as repairing warping can be one expensive job. 

First you will want to check to see if the floor is perfectly level or not. 

Next you will want to check to see if the wooden frame has warped. If this has happened the slate may not be level as well as the felt will not be laid p[roperly on the table anymore.

Lastly, if everything else seems to be level and good, you will want to check to see if the slate is warped. Depending on how badly the table is warped, will depend upon if you can repair the table or not. If the table is too far gone, you may need to replace the entire table as it will be cheaper than fixing the one you have. Slates with minor sag or crown moments can be levelled to an impeccable state fairly easily. 


Now that you know that your pool table should not get wet, you know what measures you need to take to prevent it from getting warped. If your table does get warped and it is past repair, this is the best place to get a brand new one. They have a great selection as well as they are reasonably priced. 

If it is just a little water on top, you should be relieved to know that your table is still in good condition, and you can simply let it dry and continue to play. Pool is always fun to play, and hopefully knowing these steps to protect your table will keep it in perfect condition for a long time.