Buying a shuffleboard table is a major investment that requires spotting the difference between high-quality and cheap tables. Therefore, we have put together this buyer’s guide to help you choose the best shuffleboard table. It contains a lot of useful information about shuffleboard tables and determining the difference between tables to ensure you find a quality table.
Shuffleboard Table Anatomy
There are several key components that make up a shuffleboard table you need to know.
Shuffleboard Table Top:
- Playing Surface – This is the top of the table where you play the game.
- Foul Line – This is the line in the middle of the table. Pucks must pass this line when playing, or else you foul and the puck is removed from play.
- Scoring Lines – These lines separate the different scoring areas at the end of the table. The puck must fully pass the line to be considered the higher score.
- Alley – The alley is the open area around the playing surface. If pucks fall into this area or are knocked off by another player, they are removed from play.
- Cabinet – The cabinet is the frame and foundation for the playing surface, which needs to be made from high-quality materials.
- Leg Levers – Leg levers allow you to adjust the height of the table to ensure it is level. Some tables do not have these, so you must level the table using shims.
- Climatic Adjusters – This essential component helps prevent warping on the playing surface and allows for adjustments to ensure the playing surface remains slightly concave.
- Deck – The deck is the underlying support for the playing surface. It should be made from solid wood, slate, or other high-quality materials, not pressed boards or medium-density fiberboard (MDF).
Shuffleboard Table Buyer’s Expectations
It is essential to spend some time doing research to decide what type of table you should buy. As you do your research, remember that the most important expectation is the quality of the gameplay. Several different factors can affect the gameplay, including:
- Table Quality – Poorly made tables will affect gameplay because you may not be able to adjust the playing surface, or the play area can be easily damaged. So, you want a table with climatic adjusters and a quality playing surface.
- Concave Playing Surface – The playing surface needs to be slightly concave so that pucks do not easily fall off the table. However, the curvature should not be excessive where it keeps the pucks in the middle of the table. You want to still be able to land shots on the edges and corners.
- Surface Coating – The playing surface should be covered in a wax or silicone spray finish. These types of finishes allow the pucks to be easily and consistently slid down the table. You should also be able to apply speed wax to the surface without it damaging the tabletop.
- Quality of Materials – You need a table made from hardwood, not laminates, MDF boards, vinyl, or plastic. You and other players will tend to lean on the table when lining up shots, so the table needs to be able to support this additional weight.
- Anticipated Lifespan – Handcrafted and high-quality shuffleboard tables can last for generations when made from high-quality materials. The thickness of the deck, cabinet, and legs are equally important since they provide the main support for the playing surface.
Quick Buying Facts
- The three major factors in table lifespan are the materials’ thickness, the materials’ quality, and an adjustable, concave playing surface.
- A quality shuffleboard table should last for generations.
- Tables must be constructed out of hardwood.
- Hardwood tables make it possible to sand the playing surface and reseal it should it ever need refinishing.
Finding the Perfect Table to Fit Your Space
Much like pool tables, shuffleboard tables come in different sizes. Ideally, you want a regulation-size table, which is 22 feet long. However, if you do not have a room big enough for a full-size table, you can get a smaller one. Just remember that the playing experience will be much more challenging and exciting on a full-size shuffleboard table.
Keeping that in mind, you want to pick the perfect location for your new table. It can be a game room, living room, mancave, she-shed, or enclosed patio. You will want to measure the room to determine what size table will fit the space. When taking measurements, do not forget to leave sufficient space around the table.
Style of Table
You want to ensure your new shuffleboard table fits the decor of the room where it will be set up. The playing surface is usually made from lighter-colored woods. So, the tabletop will easily match any type of decor.
The other parts of the table are what affect how well it matches the decor. This is determined by the style and shape of the cabinet and the legs. At Blatt Billiards, we offer a range of cabinet and leg styles, as well as the option to custom design and handcraft a table to your exact specifications. Therefore, finding the perfect table to fit your space and decor is easy.
Shuffleboard Playing Surface Expectations
Even though the length of the shuffleboard table will be determined by available space in the room where you intend to install it, it should not affect the width of the table or the playing surface. Regulation-size playing surface widths are 20 inches.
So, there should be no reason to decrease the width of the table or the playing surface. However, if you must reduce the width, the lowest you should go is with an 18-inch wide playing surface. Anything smaller than this will make gameplay more difficult and less enjoyable.
Length and Playing Surface Finish
The length of the table also can determine what type of finish is applied to the playing surface. Regulation-size tables will be finished with a speed wax to increase the challenge of the game. Shorter tables are usually coated with a lower-grade speed wax to slow down the pucks. As such, shots can require just as much strength as they do for regulation tables.
Thickness of the Playing Surface
Regulation tables have a playing surface thickness of three inches. However, a two-inch thick playing surface is also acceptable. However, you need to verify that the thickness measurement is the thickness of the hardwood, not the hardwood plus the finish.
Some manufacturers include the finish used on the playing surface as part of the measurement for its thickness. This is misleading as the hardwood will be thinner than expected. Fortunately, at Blatt Billiards, when we say thickness is two inches or three inches, that is the measurement of the hardwood, not the finish used on the playing surface.
Furthermore, the thickness of the playing surface is important as it can affect the table’s lifespan. Three-inch thicknesses can be refinished more than two-inch thicknesses. So, if you intend for the table to become an heirloom piece passed down from one generation to the next, get a three-inch thick playing surface.
Playing Surface Finish
It is important to ask the manufacturer what type of finish they use, how thick it is, and what type of finish warranty is included with the table. The playing surface needs a protective finish to protect the hardwood and ensure your table lasts. Some finishes can be up to a quarter-inch thick. The finish should be applied to the hardwood first, and then the speed wax on top of the finish.
Shuffleboard Cabinet Expectations
The quality of the shuffleboard cabinet is equally important as the playing surface. The cabinet should be made from hardwood. You also want an aesthetically pleasing cabinet that fits with the room’s decor where the table will be installed.
The table legs also need to be made from hardwood and should be thick enough to support the weight of the table. On regulation-size tables, there should be several sets of legs evenly spaced out to provide added support and prevent the table from sagging in the middle.
Other features you need on the table legs are leg levelers. Levelers make it much easier to level the table than using shims.
The underside of the table should include climatic adjusters to help maintain the concaveness of the playing surface. There need to be multiple adjusters in several locations to ensure consistent control.
Shuffleboard Add-ons and Accessories
When you get your new table, you may be interested in various add-ons and accessories. For example, you may want a set of miniature bowling pins or another game add-on to allow you to vary gameplay. Another optional accessory you may enjoy is a scoring set that makes it easier to keep track of the score when you play.
- Pucks – You want at least two sets of high-quality pucks. Most shuffleboard tables include two sets, but you may want to upgrade to a custom color or design.
- Table Wax – The table wax on the playing surface does need to be reapplied periodically, so you want a few cans of wax that fit your table.
- Silicone Spray – Some people prefer silicone spray instead of wax since they find it easier to apply. However, it must be silicone spray designed specifically for shuffleboard tables.
- Table Covers – You want to protect your table when you are not using it and need a good quality cover.
- Cleaning Kits – Maintaining the appearance of your table is essential to its longevity. Cleaning kits are also beneficial for cleaning the playing surface, reapplying wax, and other general table maintenance.
The Blatt Billiards Guarantee
Finding the perfect shuffleboard table for your home is an investment. Therefore, you should take your time, do some research, and use our buying guide to help you decide and choose the best table to suit your needs.
We carefully handcraft each component of Blatt Billiards’ shuffleboard tables to ensure longevity and decades of play. In addition, we provide a wide range of customization options, from cabinet color and design to several hardwood selections and finishes.
Furthermore, we guarantee 100% satisfaction for life. We love our products and take pride in every detail of our tables. We will be there to provide everything you need and provide support whenever you require it. We know you will be proud to say your table came from Blatt Billiards.