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Pool Table Felt Color

Pool Table Felt Color

I was thinking of putting a pool table in my home with black felt, but a couple people have said that black pool table cloth wasn't a good idea.

Does the color of the felt matter on a billiard table?

Pool Table Felt Color

Replies & Comments

  1. guesthettie on 2/19/2007 5:15:49 PM

    What color are the rails and casing of the pool table?

  2. guestbilliardsforum on 2/19/2007 5:18:09 PM

    You may have already considered the following points in selecting your pool table cloth color, but I'll include them incase:

    • Will you have matching customized sights to suit your pool table color?
    • What colors are already in the home billiard room?
    • What color will your table pockets be? This one should be carefully considered if thinking about using black pool table cloth. In a darker room, it may be difficult to sight properly.
    • Will the billiard table be well lit?
    • How dark is the pool table stain color? Will the cloth color you choose contrast with the rail inlays?

    What were the reasons given to you already for not choosing black?

  3. guestjana on 2/19/2007 5:22:56 PM

    Here are a few billiard tables with black pool table cloth:

  4. guestGinger on 2/19/2007 5:24:13 PM

    That black pool table cloth doesn't look all that bad to me, but I'll bet it would show dirt, dust, and burn marks really easily.

  5. guestkyle on 2/19/2007 6:41:58 PM

    If you're planning on playing for long hours at a time I suggest traditional green or tournament blue, there's something about playing on other colors that can make it hard on the eyes after awhile (I've played on red and pink). Long ago I saw some research on it but I don't recall the details only that it explained why pool cloth, tennis courts and ping pong tables are usually green or blue. Black would show dirt,talc,chaulk and burn marks (from breaking) very easily.

  6. guestguest on 2/19/2007 6:48:44 PM

    The table is oak in color with the pockets matching. The sights are white/pearl. The room is neutral in color. However, I have a shuffleboard table that black with the board being oak. That is the main reason I was thinking of the black cloth with the oak table.

    I will be installing overhead lights on the table, so lighting shouldn't be an issue.

    The reasons I was told not use black was that it could cause reflections or problems with shadows. As far as cleanliness goes, I know it will show dirt and my maintenance will be higher.

    I really like the look of the black cloth, but if playability is affected, I would rather go with a different color.

    Has anyone played on a black table or are these concerns mentioned legit?

    Also, I never realized what was behind tennis courts, ping pong tables, and pool tables commonly being green.

    Would there be any disadvantages to light colored cloth on a pool table? I am asking since the dark colors seem to be hard to keep up and I really don't care for traditional green. How about a light blue or grey?

  7. guestbilliardsforum on 2/19/2007 7:21:19 PM

    Choosing a pool table cloth color

    I've found a ton of opinions on this. I've summarized the basic idea of each:

    • "I use a tan color on my table and it keeps my cue tip looking nicer and does not stain my cue shafts. (I assume he's talking about chalk)
    • My local bar has just re-clothed their tables. they used to be a nice green cloth. Now it is beige or cream color. He notes that it brightens the whole room.
    • One player has used green, red and black over the years. He says: "DO NOT USE BLACK FELT!" and continues to say that he'll only ever use the standard green from now on. With black, he had to brush the table ever four hours of play, and said that the black chalk makes a mess on everything.
    • Another player has found that the brighter/lighter colors are more difficult to play with. In my opinion they distract you way to much. Also, if you get red (or black, or blue) cloth, you will want to use red (or black, or blue) chalk. This means that before long your ferule and upper shaft will look solid red. (or black, or blue)
    • One article noted that it depends on the surrounding light in the billiard room, and specifically how bright or stark the color is. It also noted that the lighting above the pool table usually causes shadows of the balls. The problem with this is that those shadows can make you miss shots due to optical illusions as to exactly where to aim. It closes the article noting that this is more a sub-conscious issue.

    There are certain colors that help in the visual area as far as contrast and other factors such as the ability to see the billiard balls.

    • psy.ucsd.edu/~rdbeer/interview.html - color and mood.
    • abc.lv/thinkquest/tq-entries/16661/background/color.1.html - color and its effects on humans
    • physlink.com/Education/AskExperts/ae592.cfm - different light types and illumination
    • google.ca/search?hl=en&q=how+eyes+perceive+color - google search for "how eyes perceive color

    Several other reviews of black pool table felt talk about negatives of such a color. One guy was talking ot a billiard retailer who had a black-felted table on display. Apparently the owner indicated that it was "an absolute pain to keep clean" though it looked cool. Apparently it had to be cleaned twice per day just to keep the dust off. That means twice per day even without any games being played on it.

    One guy quoted:

    Regarding other colors, I have been watching the World Pool Championships on SportsNet and it appears their tables are clad in a blue cloth. I would imagine that this is for TV purposes.

    He ended up choosing "Bottle Green" which is one shade darker than the traditional "English Green" which he found to be too bright. He also noted that lighting can have a tremendous effect on how a color looks.

    "I am using the screw-in compact fluorescent light bulbs with a 2700K color temperature. I tried the cool white bulbs which are around 3100K and noticed that the color of the cloth changed somewhat. However, I didn't like the cooler bulbs since it gave the whole room a cold feeling like hospital lighting."

    Hope this helps you make your decision.

  8. guestguest on 2/19/2007 9:24:39 PM

    I think I am going to go with light blue. It is the same color as blue chalk.

  9. guestbilliardsforum on 2/20/2007 7:53:30 AM

    Glad you were able to figure it out! Good choice with the light blue. Let us know how it looks when you've got it finished.

    This topic got me more interested in cloth color, so I decided to do more research and do up a few articles about it. Almost every post I came across had multiple folks praising lighter blue colors.

    Regarding the blue pool table cloth, there were a lot of positive posts about blue, and there were just as many posts on the negative aspects of dark colors including black:

    I won't bother with the black, yellow, and purple felt I've run into.


    ...but some were repulsive, especially some really dark colors. Navy blue and BLACK.

  10. guestkyle on 2/20/2007 6:19:39 PM

    The blue pool table cloth color seen on TV is called "tournament blue".

  11. guestdartman on 8/30/2007 3:39:53 AM

    If you're a serious player then traditional tournament green is your best choice.

    The pro pool tournaments on TV have gone to "tournament blue" cloth which is a shade lighter then electric blue. The lighter color makes it easier to focus under the bright TV lights.

    If maintaining consistency of decor throughout your home billiard room is more important, then contrasting colors work well.

    • If the table is a light oak (honey oak) then a dark green looks very good.
    • If the table is dark oak then a tan or camel color pool table cloth looks really good.
    • Black works on a black table (I have this) and I have no problem playing. Although I do spend a few extra minutes on cleaning, and no white cone chalk is allowed.
    • White tables look great with blue pool table cloth.
    • Mahogany tables look rich with burgundy cloth.

    There are a lot of colors available - from white to bright lime - but the tried and true colors generally work the best.

  12. guestjana on 5/8/2008 6:09:19 AM

    We've just finished a big bunch of research on pool table felt / cloth color, and have published a number of articles with the details which may be helpful in deciding what color of billiard cloth to buy. 1. tan or camel billiard cloth2. black billiard cloth3. what to look for in choosing pool table cloth color4. green vs. blue billiard cloth There are some details on a few studies done on color and how it affects the eyes, as well as some user comments collected throughout the duration of our research.

  13. guestquickshot on 5/8/2008 6:05:04 PM

    As I mentioned in another post, do not discount the effect the pool table cloth color will have on the eyes over a long play time.

    Blue is often used on TV but it is eye candy for the TV people.

    I think a "hunter green" cloth color would be ideal, and would be very good for the eyes.

  14. guestRayMills on 7/16/2021 2:59:39 AM

    I've recently re-covered in red although I inherited 30 blue chalk cubes under the barbox. In the long term, I prefer the chalk "deposits" be obvious so that it is easier to vacuum them when they occur. I had already developed good habits (and making guest requests) of not chalking above the table and restricting having the tips laid on the table only over the pockets. When I re-covered I noticed the layer of blue dust about which videos had warned, so preventing that to some extent is one of my goals, too.

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Pool Table Felt Color

  • Title: Pool Table Felt Color
  • Author:
  • Published: 2/19/2007 4:25:41 PM