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View Full Version : Size matters! (need help picking table size)



11-06-2002, 03:48 PM
Hi all, I'm new to this forum and was hoping to get a little advice from the experts...

I'm in the process of prepping my basement rec room for a pool table. Unfortunately, the room is going to be smaller than ideal, but I'm not going to let that stop me. The kids and I are just recreational players, and will put up with a few minor annoyances if it means having a table in the house. I would, however, greatly appreciate opinions and recommendations on what size table I should get for my cramped quarters, and how to position it. I'm waffling between an 8 footer (44"x88") and a 7 footer (38"x76") table. I prefer an 8' table as the 7' tables feel small to me. But I know the 7 footer would fit better, so I'm torn.

My rec room is currently 11'4" x 36'. I will be removing a wall to expose a hallway. After removing the wall, I will have 14' of length that is 15' wide. Then the stairs come into play, and the room narrows to the original 11'4". I've provided a little ASCII diagram which actually looks like something in a fixed width font. You probably have to copy and paste it into your favorite text editor for it to make any sense. The '.'s are there because multiple spaces are automatically removed by this forum's software.

. <----------- 15' ---------->
| . . .| <------ 11'4" ------>
| . . .|_______________________
| . . . . . . . . ^ . . . . . .|
| .^. . . . . . . | . . . . . .| ^
| .|. . . . . . . 5'. . . . . .| |
| .|. . . . . . . | . . . . . .| |
| .|. . . . . .___V___. . . . .| | . . . .^
| .|. . . . . |:::::::| . . . .| | . . . /|\
| . . . . . . | Pool :| . . . .| | . . . .|
| 14' . . . . |:::::::| <-A -> | | . . . .| North
| . . . . . . | Table | . . . .| | . . . .|
| .|. . . . . |:::::::| . . . .| | . . . .|
| .|. . . . . |:::::::| . . . .| |
| .|. . . . . |:::::::| . . . .|
| .|. . . . ->|_______| . . . .| 36'
| .V. . . B/. . . . . . . . . .|
| ____ |<-- . . . . . . . . . .| |
|Stairs|. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| _Up_ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ | <------ 11'4" ------> | |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| V
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .|

The north and south ends of the table will be 5' away or more from their respective walls. My problems lie with the entire east side (A) and the southwest corner of the table (B). With a 44"x88" table, I can position it such that A and B are both 48" (note that B is a diagonal measurement), or I can favor the problem wall by, say, making A 54", which reduces B to 43". If I increase A to 60", the east wall is no longer a problem but B would shrink to under 38". Yikes. With a 38"x76" table, A and B can both be 54", or I could make A a full 60" from the east wall, leaving 49" at B.

So what would you do? With either table size, I can get 5' of stroke room all around the table except for at the SW corner. Bear in mind that in either case, I'll be able to use a standard 57" cue to shoot from the trouble corner for most angles. With the 8 footer, I'll be cramped when shooting at a 28 to 58 degree angle (0 degrees is along the south side rail, 90 degrees is along the west side rail). With the 7 footer, I'm only cramped with shooting at a 36 to 51 degree angle. So I should be able to sink a cue ball into any pocket from the SW corner except the east side pocket (even banking into the west side pocket) using a standard cue. But there will be a 15 degree "arc of annoyance" with the 7 footer where I'll be stuck using a 4' stick at the worst parts, and a 30 degree arc with the 8 footer where I'll be stuck using a 3' stick at the worst parts. Which is the lesser of the 2 evils? Smaller table with less problems or bigger table with twice as many problems (more if you consider how much shorter the stick will have to go)? Also, would breaking from one end of the table over the other reduce my chances of having to deal with shooting from the dreaded corner? I'd greatly appreciate any feedback.

MikeM
11-07-2002, 10:17 AM
Go with the eight footer. Get a couple of 48" cues for those rare shots where you will need them. You've got more room than I do around my eight footer and I'm happy I went bigger.

MM

11-07-2002, 12:10 PM
Thanks for your input. How would you suggest positioning the 8 footer in my room? Would you "center" it so the shortest cue you'd need anywhere was 48", or would you give more room to the east side and really cramp up the SW corner?

Rod
11-07-2002, 12:34 PM
Here is a reply from RSB. Personally I'd get real tired of obstacles and short cues.

10. ** How much room do I need for a table?

The minimum space for a table is the playing area plus the length of a
cue (58") plus about 6 inches for the back swing, more for comfort, on
each side. This gives the table:

table playing area room size in meters
8' 44" x 88" 14'4" x 18' 4.4m x 5.5m
9' 50" x 100" 14'10" x19' 4.5m x 5.8m
12' (snooker) 70" x 140.5" 16'6" x 22'5" 5.0m x 6.8m

"Seven foot" tables vary in size. Work down from the 8' dimensions.

If your room does not meet these minimum size requirements, many
billiard retailers will suggest that you can still put a table in, and
use short cues (52", or 48"). Many people have found they are unhappy
having to resort to shorter cues, and should have either gotten a
smaller table, or no table at all. Others, of course, take the
opposite view -- they are delighted to have any table.

In the end, only you will know whether you are happy with the room
dimensions and need for short cues. Before you spend $2000 for a table
that will cause you to smash the walls in frustration, try this:
(1) Find an indulgent pool hall when it's not busy. (2) Measure your
space (at home) carefully, including the distance from the table to all
walls that require a special cue (3) Go to the pool hall with a piece
or pieces of plywood or some such, and a short cue, and set up the
"walls" to replicate where the walls would be in your house. Play for
several hours, using the short cue when needed.

Between two tables you can do with about the length of a cue, the limit
is caused not by the cue, but by the player being able to go into his
stance between the tables. Deluxe rooms really need more room on all
sides to let possible passers-by move without bumping into the players.

eg8r
11-07-2002, 01:15 PM
I agree with Rod on playing in cramped quarters before you go out and spend the money.

I personally would get the 8 ft table and position it so that only one corner or one pocket is a problem area. Then try as hard as possible to not leave myself there.

eg8r

11-07-2002, 01:26 PM
Suggestions noted and appreciated. Thanks!

MikeM
11-07-2002, 01:46 PM
ROFL,

Before I answer I'm going to check the measurements in my rec room. I think my space is very similar to yours. Rod's post made me realize that I should have mentioned that I do get frustrated a times playing at home. At least 75% of the time there are no problems, but that other 25% can be very annoying. I think my space to the sides is smaller than yours, but I have a bar on one side. So if I'm right against that rail I can jack the cue up a bit and have extra backswing room. I had the table positioned a little away from the far wall and closer to the bar for that reason. I personally did NOT want a 7-footer. So I put up with the inconviences to get the biggest table possible.

I'll follow up tonight from home.

BTW, your profile doesn't say where your from. If you're anywhere near Northern Virgina you're welcome to come see my set up and test it out for yourself.

MM

11-07-2002, 02:27 PM
A very gracious offer Mike, thanks. I'm in Denver though, so that'd be quite a trek to visit you. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Wally_in_Cincy
11-07-2002, 02:52 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: ROFL:</font><hr> A very gracious offer Mike, thanks. I'm in Denver though, so that'd be quite a trek to visit you. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif <hr></blockquote>

Whatever you decide, these might come in handy:

http://www.poolcuestore.com/trouble_shooter.htm

MikeM
11-08-2002, 09:33 AM
What's a couple of thousand miles for something as important as a pool table? /ccboard/images/icons/wink.gif

I measured mine last night and I have just UNDER 12 ft in width! Tighter than I thought. Really too tight to play seriously, but I do get a lot of good practice in. I can't really play one pocket too well at home but I try anyway.

I think an eight footer in your space woould work out fine. You might want to move it a bit towards the bad (west ?) end so that you can break from the other with losts of room.

Good luck and let us know what you decide and how it turns out.

MM

11-08-2002, 10:41 AM
Thanks Mike for taking the time to measure your room to give me a good reference point. I was sure everyone was going to tell me to deal with the 7 footer. I'm glad to see at least one person in a similar situation as my own opted for and is happy with the larger table. I'll post an update when I make a decision. For now, I'm busy knocking out drywall to expand out my rec room and trying to figure out how to re-route my outlets and light switches. Did I mention I'm remodeling a bathroom at the same time? /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif If I don't run into any load bearing posts, I will get the 8 footer. If it turns out I'm going to have a post or two blocking me on the west side even after I tear down the wall, then I'm not so sure what I'll do. If you guys don't hear from me again, my house came crashing down on my head.

Wally, I about died laughing when I saw those stubby cues. Thanks for the link. I've always hated how light shorter cues felt. I bet these would help a lot.

Thanks everyone for your help!

11-08-2002, 11:06 AM
I may be late, but what the hey.
It looks like you've got plenty of room except for the stairway, right? Centering the table (or thereabouts, you may have a tiny bit of wiggle room) would make the stairway (B) the only trouble spot.
But is it really a trouble spot? It looks like the point we're looking at, the stairway has reached the floor, or has reached the upper level so I'm wondering what's in the way. Can any framing there be moved/altered, or is there some sort of load-bearing post right there?
Then there's plan B: engineered lumber. Hey, it's a pool table! /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

11-08-2002, 12:51 PM
Chris, you aren't late at all. The trouble spot is indeed at the bottom of the stairs, where are finished walls on both sides. Right now, there is a hallway at the bottom of the stairs, and I'm trying to tear down the wall between this hallway and the rec room to widen up the rec room at the north end. Here's yet another work of ASCII art to show my basement's current configuration:

. &lt;----------- 15' ----------&gt;
| . . .| &lt;------ 11'4" ------&gt;
| . . .|_______________________
| . . .|. . . . . ^ . . . . . .|
| .^. .|. . . . . | . . . . . .| ^
| .|. .O. . . . . 5'. . . . . .| |
| .|. .|. . . . . | . . . . . .| |
| .|. .|. . . .___V___. . . . .| | . . . .^
| .|. .|. . . |:::::::| . . . .| | . . . /|\
| . . .|. . . | Pool :| . . . .| | . . . .|
| 14' .|. . . |:::::::| &lt;-A -&gt; | | . . . .| North
| . . . . . . | Table | . . . .| | . . . .|
| .|. . . . . |:::::::| . . . .| | . . . .|
| .|. . . . . |:::::::| . . . .| |
| .|. .|. . . |:::::::| . . . .|
| .|. .S. . -&gt;|_______| . . . .| 36'
| .V. .|. B/. . . . . . . . . .|
| ____ |&lt;-- . . . . . . . . . .| |
|Stairs|. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| _Up_ IO . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ | &lt;------ 11'4" ------&gt; | |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| |
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .| V
| ____ |. . . . . . . . . . . .|

O = Outlet
S = 4-bank light switch
IO = Intercom wall unit and outlet underneath


I think it's only practical to remove the wall up to the bottom of the stairs. I'd rather not mess with relocating the intercom unit and outlet underneath, and I still need some wall room to relocate the bank of light switches. Don't know yet if there's a load bearing post to contend with as well. So far, I've been banging away on the 8 foot northern section of wall. No posts there. Hopefully I'll get lucky on the 3 foot southern section as well.

11-10-2002, 03:03 PM
I have a disappointing update... It turns out there are two load bearing posts at the end of the 3 foot section of wall I was planning on tearing down to accomodate the southern end of the pool table. I'm scratching that idea, and will have to be satisfied with only removing the northern 8' wall section. This will only give me about 11' of widened room. I don't think I have a choice but to settle for the smaller table. With the 7 footer, I'll have about 1 foot of table length that will be only 3' away from the offending wall, assuming I give nearly 5' to the eastern side. Let's hope I never have to shoot along the southern rail from west to east.

Chris Cass
11-10-2002, 03:27 PM
Hi ya,

There's contractors out there that know how to replace these beams with another type of structure that would allow you to have the space. I suggest you talk to one and see if there's something he could do for you. Then, check out if this is finacially a good idea.

Regards,

C.C.

11-11-2002, 10:21 AM
Thanks for the suggestion Chris, but I think I'll pass. I was willing to knock down a couple walls and move a few electrical fixtures to accomodate the pool table, but I draw the line at messing with the support structure of my house. Perhaps this is what separates the men from the boys, and I'm just a pool boy. /ccboard/images/icons/smile.gif

Paul_Mon
11-11-2002, 01:01 PM
I was able to remove the pole by adding another support beam. The existing poles in my basement were about 9' apart. The existing beam was a 5" x 8' (18) meaning it weighed 18 lb./foot. The new beam was 5" x 8" (21), it deflected much less than the original. I used a jack to slowly raise the new beam into place. The new beam is about 18' long and was supported at each end with poles that shared the footer with existing poles. I did not break through the slab and set the new poles directly on the existing footer. They are sitting right on the slab. I did drill and pin them in place, but don't believe that this is really necessary. Before starting any work I measured and cut a 2 x 4 to the exact height between the floor and the existing beam, in the spot where the pole was to be removed. My intention was to make sure that the existing beam did not change location (vertically) when the job was completed. With the new beam in place and the new adjustable poles at each end I slowly cut the middle pole and as the old beam started to slowly drop I would raise the new beam to compensate. Obviously I had a couple guys helping me with this part. One thing that I anticipated was that the new beam would bow due to the increased length between supports. I placed wooden shims (pieces of shingle) between the beam and the floor joists, 1/2" shims in the middle and less thick as they got closer to the support poles.
I got the height of the existing beam within 1/8" of its original location. I was very hesitant to try this put refused to put a pool table in a location that had any obstructions. I had seen this modification done one other time with the same result and that helped my confidence. I had recently remodeled the kitchen, which is right above where the pole was removed. There are no cracks in tile or walls. Additionally, I live in upsate NY and we get our fair share of snow in the winter. The pitch on my roof is fairly flat and snow does accumulate up there. After two winters there has been no settling or shifting. IMO, the support is probably stronger now than before. When I was all done I boxed in both of the poles and one of them makes a little wall jutting out into the room. This made a little alcove for a sitting area on one side and a place for the dart board on the other. The hardest part of the entire job was getting the beam through the basement window and into place.