Pool is a game that can be enjoyed any time and with any number of people, and having a pool table outside or inside your home will give you a lot of opportunities for entertainment.
If you’ve lived with a pool table inside for years and are thinking about making the switch and putting it outside, you might have wondered if it’s actually viable to do so.
Are you actually able to turn your inside pool table into an outdoor pool table?
Moving this large piece of furniture outside usually can’t be done without consequences because of the materials used to make them, but there may be some things you can do to make the switch successfully.
We’re going to look at the logistics of converting your table to an outdoor one and how these two types of pool tables differ in their construction.
With an understanding of their differences and some tips on how to make a successful conversion, you might just be able to bring your pool table outside and turn your garage or patio into the new hangout spot where friends and family come together.
How To Put Table Outside?
Pool tables are usually designed as indoor furniture and trying to move one outside isn’t always the best idea.
A traditional indoor table is made with felt and hardwood, neither of which stands up well to the conditions outdoors.
Moisture, heat, sunlight, and even cold conditions can all impact these materials and do irreversible damage to the table which is why they’re usually found indoors.
There may be some cases where moving a pool table outside is more favorable, like if you have an enclosed garage or patio, but again you’ll need to be mindful of protecting the material and ensuring that weather conditions aren’t too extreme.
Utilizing covers and protective surfaces can be helpful in this scenario, but not every home will have somewhere suitable to set up an indoor pool table.
Another factor to weigh up is the cost of a pool table with most people considering them to a be a sizeable investment.
Therefore, you don’t want to run the risk of damaging it and having to purchase a new one because you wanted to move it outside.
Your two options then are to convert your pool table to one that can withstand outside conditions or purchase an outdoor table made specifically for this purpose.
The Difference Between an Indoor Pool Table and an Outside Pool Table
Pool tables come in all shapes and sizes and thankfully, they can also be categorized as indoor or outdoor tables.
There are a few key differences that set them apart and these can be helpful to note if you’re planning on converting yours so you can take it outside.
Indoor pool tables are made with soft felt and slate on their playing surface, but this won’t hold up outdoors.
An indoor pool table uses a different type of felt made for outside which means it’s rougher and harder, and players will usually need to use more force to get their balls to move.
Traditional indoor tables are made with wooden frames but leaving these exposed outside will cause them damage like warping, swelling, or bleaching.
Outdoor pool tables use frames made of more durable materials like stainless steel or steel aluminum as they can withstand extreme heat, cool, and moisture.
Extras and protection
Leaving your pool table outside means it requires extra defense so there are add-ons you’ll have to purchase that you wouldn’t usually need.
Dust covers, UV covers, sprays, and cleaners will all help with maintenance and protection for a pool table that lives outside, and some come with weatherproofing already built into their design.
Tips for Converting to an Outdoor Pool Table
If you already own an indoor pool table and want to convert it so it can be moved outdoors safely, there are some tips you can follow to make a successful transition.
Not all pool tables will be suitable for outdoor use though, and often times it’s better just to purchase one made for these conditions instead.
Change the felt
Remove the soft felt that covers the playing surface and change it to something more suitable to the outdoors.
Marine grade acrylic fabric is the best option to protect against the weather but it will be a rougher playing surface than you’re used to.
A felt with tighter weaves will be more durable which is exactly what you need for an outdoor pool table.
Measure up the area
One reason why people want to move their pool table outside is because of the space it’ll free up inside, but you have to do your measurements before you shift it.
Make sure there’s enough room in your outdoor area to suit and that it will remain covered at all times.
Use a durable cover
Purchase a waterproof protective cover that will completely enclose the pool table, balls, and other accessories whenever you’re not playing on it.
Always keep the cover on even if the weather conditions seem fine and resist the urge to put anything on top of it.
Update the wood
In some cases, you might be able to upgrade the wood to something more outdoors-friendly.
Depending on the condition of your pool table and your skills, you could coat the surface with epoxy glue to cover any holes where moisture could potentially get through and then apply a few coats of paint to the outside for added protection.
Consider the weather
Hotter climates will be the most damaging to your pool table because of the moisture and humidity they bring.
Some people might choose to leave their pool table outdoors just for the cooler seasons and then bring it back inside when it starts to heat up.
This way you get the best of both worlds and can enjoy indoor and outdoor games throughout the year.
Buying an Outdoor Pool Table
If you’d prefer to buy an outdoor pool table and keep your indoors one where it belongs, there are some great choices on the market made specifically for this purpose.
You can expect to send the same amount on an outdoor table as an indoor one, dependent on features, and most retail for around $1,000 for a average quality home unit.
When choosing your pool table, make sure it specifically states that it’s for outdoor use and able to withstand the weather.
You can usually tell by looking at the materials and construction, with outside tables made with frames of steel or aluminum and the felt made of weatherproof material like Sunbrella or Polytech cloth.
Some outdoor pool tables come with additional features like waterproof covers, shade cloths, and table covers that double as an entertainment space or other tabletop sports activity like table tennis.
If you live somewhere with particularly humid weather, you can shop for a table to suit these exact conditions, and to ensure it lasts for years to come you need to take the usual climate into consideration.
Having an outdoor pool table can be a great addition to your home and it offers something unique to having a unit inside.
If you’ve never owned an outdoor pool table there are many things to learn about their construction and setup, so we’ve got the answers to some questions that most beginner pool enthusiasts frequently ask.
How Heavy is an Outdoor Pool Table?
A slate top pool table weighs between 600 and 1,000lbs depending on the other materials used to make them and those made with slate alternatives can weigh a lot less.
Outdoor pool tables made with steel and aluminum generally weigh less than a hardwood table but it depends on the materials used.
What Are the Benefits of an Outdoor Pool Table?
For those that can afford it, having an outdoor pool table comes with many benefits that just aren’t possible with an indoor unit.
Having an outdoor pool table means you get the chance to play in the fresh air, there’s more space to entertain, and you’re purchasing a more durable unit that will last for years to come.
Should You Put a Rug Under an Outdoor Pool Table?
Most indoor pool tables perform better with an area rug placed underneath them with the legs sitting on top as it prevents the table from moving.
When using an outdoor table, this same logic can be applied so it’s ideal to invest in a rug for outdoor use as well.
What is the Warranty on an Outdoor Pool Table?
Depending on the manufacturer and model of the pool table, a standard warranty period for an outdoor pool table can range from one to 10 years.
This is due to the durability of the metal frame compared to a hardwood design.