Whether in a den, game room, or ‘man cave,’ a pool table can provide years of fun indoor recreation.
Once set up, they require minimal maintenance, but they’re among the heaviest, most challenging, and dangerous items to move when relocating to a new location.
From disassembly and lifting to carrying, loading, and putting them back together, it’s a job we recommend leaving to vetted professional movers with verified customer reviews.
That said, with the right tools, help, and know how it is possible to move a pool table yourself without the professional help a moving company can offer.
Let’s see how.
Different Kinds of Pool Tables
The two most common types of pool tables are slate and wood.
This refers to the material under the felt on which the balls roll.
Most slate tables have three identical sheets of slate, while others have one large piece.
Slate tables are by far the heaviest of the two, and they’re pricier and trickier to move than their wooden counterparts, but for diehard pool sharks who demand quality, they’re well worth it.
On the other hand, wooden tables are less expensive and easier to move. But in areas prone to wide fluctuations in temperature and humidity, their surfaces can crack and warp over time.
Did You Know?
One-piece pool table slate can weigh more than 400 pounds, making it a real ‘backbreaker’ for inexperienced and out-of-shape do-it-yourselfers.
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Step-by-Step Guide to Moving a Pool Table
1. Know what you’re getting yourself into
Before committing to the epic task of moving a pool table, take a few minutes to consider the following –
- The ages and physical abilities of you and your helpers
- If you have the proper tools and know-how to use them
- If you’re familiar with pool table construction, disassembly, and reassembly
- The location of the pool table and whether you’ll need to carry it up and downstairs
- If you have a vehicle capable of hauling it or will need to rent a moving truck
- The likelihood of injury or damage during the moving process
Many retailers will move customer’s billiards tables to their new homes. Since pool tables are all they do, they’re often less expensive and more experienced than regular full-service movers.
2. Gather your tools and moving supplies
Without the right tools moving a pool table can turn into a nightmare.
To do the job efficiently, you’ll need –
- Safety goggles
- A power drill
- A socket wrench set
- A carpenter’s level and shims
- A Phillips and flat head screwdriver
- A staple puller and scraper for felt removal
- Individual parts bags and a ‘parts box.’
- Enough quilted moving blankets to thoroughly pad each piece
Did You Know?
High-quality professional movers require pool table slate to be crated on long-distance moves, though they may outsource it to a third-party moving services company.
3. Get adequate moving help.
Moving a pool table requires serious muscle power, and as such, it’s definitely not for grannies, adolescents, and middle-aged uncles with herniated discs.
In fact, you’ll need to track down between three and four relatively young and fit helpers.
If possible, make sure each has at least some mechanical aptitude as they may need to help with disassembly and reassembly.
It’s also imperative that everyone –
- Wears long pants and suitable close-toed footwear
- Has gloves (preferably the ones with tiny rubber dots for added grip)
- Stretches and warms up before getting started
- Stays sufficiently hydrated to avoid cramping during the moving process
4. Find a suitable vehicle or rent a moving truck
Sadly, station wagons and pickup trucks usually won’t cut it when moving a pool table.
Most pool tables are between 7 and 9 feet long, and some weigh well over 1,000 pounds.
Though renting a moving truck from a company like Budget or U-Haul may be another expense you’d rather not incur, having a large enclosed cargo area, a walk board, and heavy-duty logistics straps make it a no-brainer.
5. Measure doorways, staircases, and hallways
Most fully disassembled pool table parts will easily fit through your home or apartment’s doors, halls, and stairways.
But it’s a good idea to measure anyway to be on the safe side.
This is especially important if you’ve had renovations done after your pool table was moved in and set up.
6. Disassemble the pool table
It may seem like an impossible undertaking, but disassembling your pool table can be as easy as following these steps –
- Remove the corner and side ball pockets (they’re usually held in place by staples or screws)
- Next, remove the side rails (bumpers) with pliers or a socket wrench
- Then, using a staple puller and scraper, gently lift the felt from the wood or slate surface (it may be stretched and damaged during the process, so having new felt professionally applied may be necessary)
- After removing the hardware with a power drill, lift the exposed slate or wood from the pool table frame. Make sure you have at least two other strong friends on hand, and carefully lay each piece on a moving blanket for wrapping
- Finally, disassemble the frame and legs (this may be done with the table on its side or flipped over onto its top, so it’s upside down, just make sure to put a pad or two underneath it)
To make reassembly more manageable, take pictures of hardware and joints before disassembly, pack nuts, bolts, and screws in plastic bags, and label them clearly.
7. Protect each piece
At the very least, wrap each piece of your pool table in thick quilted moving blankets.
To make sure the moving pads stay in place, secure them with packing materials such as tape or rubber bands.
In addition to pads, slate should be packed in heavy-duty multi-piece mirror cartons, covered in bubble wrap, wrapped in cardboard (like an old mattress carton), and secured with ample tape or stretch wrap (shrink wrap).
For additional protection, also consider using –
- Old towels and comforters
- Pliable carpet remnants
- Worn out yoga mats
8. Protect floors, doors, and walls
Dropping part of your pool table or banging into a wall or doorway can cause severe damage to your home.
Of course, make sure to pad each piece should, but taking added steps to protect your residence is wise.
However, it’s worth noting that cardboard and moving blankets on hardwood and concrete floors can be dangerously slippery, especially when carrying heavy items.
To see how professional movers protect their customer’s homes, check out this video from New Haven.
9. Load and secure your pool table in the truck
The pool table slate should always be loaded in the truck in the upright position perpendicular to the floor – never laid flat.
Slate is much likely to crack when loaded this way.
Fold one or two moving pads into squares and stack the slate on them.
Then, secure the slate pieces together against the truck’s bulkhead or a wall and secure them with at least two heavy-duty logistics straps.
Even if you’re just moving a short distance, drive slowly and carefully between your old and new home, keeping an eye out for potholes, speed bumps, and road debris that could cause the truck to bounce erratically.
10. Reassemble the pool table
It’s always easier taking something apart than putting it back together.
But on the bright side, reassembling your pool table is just assembly in reverse.
Start by reattaching the table legs and getting the frame positioned where you want it because once the slate is back on, it’ll be nearly impossible to move.
Then reattach the slate and level it to make sure the balls roll true.
If there are gaps between the slate, fill them with beeswax before reapplying the felt and putting the side rails and pockets back on.
How to Move a Pool Table FAQs
Do you need to take a pool table apart before moving it?
Yes, in most cases, you’ll need to disassemble your pool table before moving it on DIY moves. However, if you have a small, relatively light pool table without a slate, you may be able to move it after detaching the legs only, but you’ll need help.
How much does it cost to move a pool table?
Between disassembly, crating, moving, uncrating, and reassembly, moving a pool table can cost more than $1,000. It largely depends on the size, makes, and model of the pool table, so prices vary.
Should I move my pool table and buy a new one?
In some cases, new homeowners will ask to have your pool table included in the sales contract. If so, it may be a great way to avoid the hassle of moving it and make a few bucks to put toward a new one.
Are there professional pool table movers?
When it comes to moving a pool table, you can either do it yourself, have the company you bought it from move it for you or hire professional movers.