View Full Version : Slatron question.

01-05-2005, 09:18 PM
Yes, the word you all probably hate to hear most "Slatron". But just what makes it not a good playing surface? I've searched the web for weeks trying to find a good explanation, but all I can find are people saying "its crud, dont buy it".

Let me explain my situation. Im building a bar/rec room in my basement. We like to BS around. No one that comes over to my house, including myself, is any good at pool. Im not looking for a table to last me forever, maybe 5-8 years. For that matter, Slatron has a 7 year warranty depending on where you buy it. As far as installation goes, I plan on doing it with the help of a friend. I dont feel like paying $200+ for it to be done.

I've got to say, Im not opposed to slate. I havent even been to a pool store yet. If they have a used slate for a great price installed, then Sure, Im al for it. But when I can get a Slatron for like $700 new delivered That looks pretty cool for my decor, then Im kinda in a tough decision. Thats why I want some decent details why slatron isnt preffered. Thanks Guys (and gals)!

01-06-2005, 06:22 AM
I'd love to hear the answer too. I'm in the same boat: just casual occasional use and for only a few years. A local dealer sais he could deliver and install an 8' slate table with all accessories for $1599 but I'm sure slatron is cheaper. Where did you see the Slaterons being sold?

01-06-2005, 10:04 AM
I've seen a few at sears for $749, and there is one on Target.com called Minnesota Fats, It looks great and is only $650, but delivery is nearly $300. I would probably steer clear of the Walmart tables though.

01-06-2005, 07:30 PM
Non slate tables are usually pressed wood, simply put, if your basement is humid at all, it could potentially warp on ya. Also temperature fluctuation could be a problem. Being wood it will probably dent easier from jumped balls.

Read the warranty statement closely, might be some small print about whats covered and what isn't.

If your willing to wait and search the paper every day, you should be able to get a good bargain on a used slate table. Good Luck

01-08-2005, 07:55 AM
Well I've been shopping. I can get a cheap slate table delivered, set up, and have all the accessories needed to play for $1499 delivered (Imperial I believe). I do not want a non slate table. So used is a possibility but I don't think it's wort it. Why?
Let's say I can get a slate table in good shape used for $800, You can only hope that all the accessories are included and in good shape: 4 sticks that aren't warped, racks, balls, brushed covers, ect.
I spoke to a shop about setup costs. It goes something like this:
Disassemble table- $150-$200
Transport (local only)- $50
Reassassemble in my basement- $200-$250
Probable need for new felt/install- $100-$200
Problems with table- $Yours$
So you get an $800 table and add $500 to $700 to it and you have spent almost the same amaount of money with used everything and maybe not complete. If you have a problem your on your own.
For $1500 and brand new everything and complete new accessories and cosmetically perfect it's not worth saving a few bucks. Plus, if there's a problem I can pick up the phone and call someone.

01-27-2005, 02:18 PM
Slatron is not MDF. It is made from wood materials but it is resistant to warping (not water proof) and plays similar to slate. It starts out as a 15" thick board that gets compressed to 3/4", making it very dense and smooth. The carton weighs around 100 lbs for 8' tables (comes in 3 pieces, same as slate). The only problem is if it's stored in a very humid place or stored incorrectly by the retailer, it could warp.

Assembly would be the same with slatron or slate. You have to shim, grout and put the felt on along with the rest of the table. Professional assembly is not required (you will need to know what a wrench and a level are though). Most of the times you also get a video on how to put the table together depending on the manufacturing company.

Advantages of slatron:
Cheaper (few hundred dollars cheaper)
Weight (Slatron is about 100 lbs. Slate is around 450 lbs)
Plays similar to slate (smoother and denser than MDF)

Can warp (If someone spills water/beer etc on it. If it's stored in an environment with extreme temperature changes)
Warranty (7 years compared to 10 years on slate)

02-08-2005, 03:07 PM
Just curious: why stay away from Walmart?
The research I did showed that Walmart sells exactly the same models of Mizerak tables as every one else...

02-09-2005, 11:28 AM
Walmart.com does, Walmart stores do not (as far as I know).

02-18-2005, 02:53 PM
Apart from the fact that slate is a best choice,
for a novice user, which is better: Slatron or MDF?
I've heard that MDF is less vulnerable to humidity.
My basement is not exactly humid, but a possibility
of drinks spilled on the billiard table top exists.
Thanks for any feedback and/or recommendation.

03-16-2005, 09:52 AM
Slatron is definately better (playing wise) than MDF. Usually slatron tables will be more expensive because of the better quality. I really doubt that mdf is more moisture resistant because slatron is made from mdf.

03-16-2005, 11:44 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote RBX:</font><hr> Slatron is definately better (playing wise) than MDF. Usually slatron tables will be more expensive because of the better quality. I really doubt that mdf is more moisture resistant because slatron is made from mdf.

<hr /></blockquote>

The last sentence should read. "I really doubt that mdf is more moisture resistant than slatron unless it is encapsulated mdf."

03-30-2005, 11:03 AM
As far as I understand the term 'slatron' was coined by the Mizerak company. Sam's Club sells an 8' Mizerak 3/4" SLATE table for only $725.00. That is the least expensive slate table I've seen anywhere. They also sell what they describe as the "Majestic Series" 1" slate models beginning at $2,700.00 delivered but not installed. It appears these Majestics are the top of the line in Mizerak brand. I have been unable to locate them anywhere else for a price comparison. Is anyone familiar with this model? If you would like to see the details, log on to samsclub.com and search pool tables.

04-27-2005, 07:01 PM
I've been looking for a pool table for my house. Ebay has a lot of the Valley coin ops (Slate), looks like you can get one for $500-$800 if you can find one locally for pick up. In my humble opinion, these are way cooler than a store bought "fancy" looking table, and they are made to be abused. Plus they are a better conversation piece.

05-04-2005, 09:43 PM
Well, if have money to burn and space to spare - skip this post. It is not for you. This post is for newbies on a budget only.

Unless you have pool stick for curtain rods, have a eight ball key chain, hang out at the local pool hall, people call you "Fats", have chalk between your fingers all the time OR need to express and define your man (or woman) hood with a beautiful high end slate table....Go with the slatron/MDF (stay away from hardwood and elaminated hardwoods tho).

If you even think $1500 dollars is too much for a pool table, then you don't need a $1500 pool table. If I'm right, you just want something to play on. If that is the case, slatron/MDF will do it for you (as long as you take care of it - just as you would take care of a slate table - get it?).

Unless you are on some newbie kick about playing with the big boys, pass on the low end slate tables too. Go for it or don't. Get a high end slatron or a high end slate. Why? Because there are other things to consider besides the playing surface - thats why - pockets, cushions, frame...etc.

Also, forget resale unless you are buying a high-high end slate table. Don't let that even come into the equation for now. You will lose less money on a high end slatron than a low end slate. Anyone looking for a low end slate will most likely be a novice like you. Are any of you looking for a "used" low end slate? If anything, you want to pick up a used high end slate for low end slatron prices..LOL....Think about it. So what makes you think future newbies will shell out the bucks for low end used slate?

Some things to consider if you are looking to just play some pool with your friends/family....just my personal thoughts. Hope it helps.

I recommend this one for newbies, novices and casual players and you can even order it from walmart for less: http://www.4americanrecreation.com/bl_durango.htm

If you any of you die hards care to comment...please feel free....don't want to steer anyone astray...


05-07-2005, 06:01 AM
I've been recovering/moving tables for many years and in my experience if you are only in it for the short run(under 10 years)get a slate table that will have some resale value when you are done. Slateron tables are poorly engineered and in many cases are impossible to level. I have always considered these tables to throw-aways for those who have $700+ to throw away.Advertise a slate table in the paper and the phone will ring.If you have some time and patience a good deal will come your way.

06-03-2005, 01:26 PM
OK. I'm a real novice here. We want a pool table but have to be able to use the room as a spare guest room too. Atlas has a "portable" pool table that you can turn on it's side and roll away. It is made of slatron. Is this junk or is it OK?

09-12-2005, 03:14 PM
ok heres my question...i can get a brand new minnesota fats 7'slatec pool table with burgandy cloth or a prestige 7' table with laminated encapsulated playbed with tadlon cloth...both being 3/4" thick, for FREE. I would have to set it up but it would be delivered free to my house as well and both would come with all accessories..Which do I go for? and what is the difference in beds? This table would be put into a garage that maintains about a 65-70 degree temp and maybe rising to about 80 during a 90 degree day outside..no humidity in the garage. It would be used by the entire family as well as friends, I am somewhat of an advanced user but free is free right? can anyone help a brother out? thanks in advance for your time and knowledge out there. <font color="red"> </font color>

12-29-2006, 12:23 PM
Okay...this is actually a very easy question to answer, but no one seems to have the CORRECT answers, so this thread is dragging out forever.

A real/regulation pool table uses slate as a playing surface. The BCA (Billiard Congress of America) regulations specify that slate must be used and that said slate must be honed and matched to specific tolerances. Any table without slate is NOT a pool table.

It doesn't matter if you're not a pro, or if you're only playing recreationally here and there in your basement. The point of playing pool is to have fun and if your table looks like a Salvidore Dali painting because it's warped, you're not going to enjoy it. Wood warps. Slatron warps. SLATE DOES NOT WARP. It's a flat piece of stone that was mined from the earth to be used on a pool table!

Here's something else that no one mentioned. How much would you enjoy playing pool if every time someone bumps the table the balls start rolling around randomly? Yes, this will happen with a Slatron or wood table. A real pool table with a SLATE playing surface weighs upwards of 700 lbs. You can lean on it, bump it, knock it around and the balls won't move. If you have a table that weighs 200 lbs because it's made with Slatron, every time someone touches the table, the balls will shift. Tell all your buddies not to touch the table when they're shooting! Fun!

Here's another reason: The rails of a pool table are attached to the playing surface. If it's a Slatron or wood playing surface, you will not get the right reaction out of the cushions (which are part of the rail) when you try to make bank shots.

Plain and simple...if your 12 year old kids want to pretend to play pool for a couple months and then you're going to throw the table away when they get bored with it, buy Slatron.

If you want a real table, with real playability, that will last a very long time, get SLATE. It's worth the money. Trust me, I've been selling BOTH TYPES of pool table for many years.

Don't forget that there are many other factors involved in selecting a pool table. Overall construction, the way the slate is supported, warranty, etc. Most importantly though, if you're not starting out with slate as a playing surface, you're already starting on the wrong foot.

Yes...slate costs more. If you don't have the money to drop on a slate table, I recommend that you don't throw away $600 on a slatron table. Just go drop some quarters at the bar until you save up enough for the slate.

I have no way of making money off of you, so I'm not feeding you this because I sell tables. I'm just telling you how it is.