Pool Tables on Carpet: The Complete Guide on What You Can and Can’t Do

Do you have carpet in your man cave or game room and want to buy a pool table? Or perhaps you already have a pool table and want to know what your options are for laying carpet? Combining carpet and a pool table can present quite a daunting task but this guide will go through all the options available.

Although carpet can soften a room and make it warmly, it can definitely present some challenges when it is combined with a pool table.

Pool tables are heavy (up to 2,500 pounds) so they require professionals to move properly. Laying carpet before buying a pool table is the obvious choice but what type of carpet do you buy?

Let’s roll out the details…

1. Can You Install a Pool Table on Carpet?

Let’s assume the carpet is already there.

All carpet, even thin commercial grade, sits on a foam underlay or padding. This padding or underlay has two purposes: it protects the carpet from moisture rising beneath the surface (quite common in basements and attics) and also adds a level of comfort when walking on it.

The only carpet that does not have padding are carpet squares. These are normally laid directly onto the existing floors. Read further on to find out why you would use this option.

Padding is made of foam and will compress down from the weight of your pool table. Depending on the type and thickness of the padding it will take a few weeks or even months for it to compress fully. You must wait for the padding to settle before leveling your table.

Once the padding has settled, keep in mind that the divots or indentations created by the pool table are permanent. No amount of cleaning or time will get rid of these so it’s important when installing your pool table to get it in the right spot from the beginning.

What Type of Carpet Should you Install under a Pool Table?

Besides the obvious divots that a pool table makes in carpet, you should also think about wear and tear from foot traffic.

For this reason, carpet with a commercial weave won’t show walk around traffic like regular domestic carpet does. Spend the extra money and buy a good quality carpet. Once your pool table is installed, you really won’t want to replace the carpet any time soon.

Positioning Your Pool Table on Carpet

Positioning a pool table on carpet can be a complicated task. Without proper care, it can cause permanent damage to your carpet if not moved into place properly. Using drop sheets, tarps or heavy cloth underneath the table dolly to reduce this risk. Professionals will often use a heavy cloth and drag the table in on the dolly.

Leveling Your Pool Table on Carpet

Once your pool table is in place, you will have to wait weeks, sometimes months before the final leveling can be done. This time period will depend on the type of carpet and padding that is used.

Professionals will quite often level a table once it’s been installed onto carpet and will return some time later to re-level your table once it’s settled.

In comparison, a pool table that’s been installed onto tiles or hardwood floors can be leveled straight away.

How to Deal with Carpet Seams

Seams in carpet are quite common these days and will affect the level of your table. A professional will still use the same process when leveling your table. You shouldn’t move your pool table to a different position if it is in the right place and sitting on a carpet seam. It’s not possible to get rid of the seam so just live with it and level accordingly.

Pool Table Floor Protectors

These are usually only required when installing a pool table onto a hardwood floor.

Wooden legs sometimes bleed some of the stain into the carpet. The addition of rubber tips can stop this. Simply add a round or square protector beneath each pool table leg.

2. Can You Install Carpet Under/Around an Existing Pool Table?

Option 1: Take Pool Table Down then Install Carpet

This is where the professionals get involved. They will disassemble the table and move it to another room before the carpet is installed. It’s then just a matter of moving it back after the carpet has been laid, reassemble the table and re-level.

It will cost quite a few hundred dollars for professionals to move your table (then back again) as well as re-level it but forking out the extra bucks now will not doubt preserve the life your table.

Option 2: Install Carpet Squares

Carpet squares can usually be installed under a pool table without having to lift the entire table at once. By lifting or jacking up each leg separately, carpet squares can be installed under one leg at a time.

Using carpet squares usually means you can do away with the professionals thus saving money but once the carpet squares have been laid, you’ll have to do some minor re-leveling of the table again.

Be careful when lifting each leg as damage can still occur to the table.

Carpet squares are quite often found in commercial environments but these days they are available in modern colors and textures. They usually will not look at good as a traditional carpet floor but they do have advantages in that one square can be replaced if needed.

Option 3: Lifting each part of the Pool Table while carpet is being laid

Depending on the size and weight of your pool table, you may be able to lift each end of the table so carpet can be laid. If you can get your table on to rollers or dolly tables, this will make carpet laying easier. Keep in mind that carpet needs to be stretched when laid.

If you are trying this yourself, you may end up damaging your table. Depending on the size of your table, the DIY approach may not even be an option.

Option 4: Install Carpet Around Pool Table

If all the above options won’t work then your last option may be to install carpet around your pool table. This method usually involves creating boxes around the legs of your carpet so the carpet can be installed around the boxes.

The upside of this method is that if the carpet needs to be replaced, the table doesn’t have to be moved.

The downside is that moving your pool table will reveal a boxed “uncarpeted” area where your pool table was.

How Long Does it Take for a Pool Table to Settle on Carpet?

It’s important to know how long it takes a pool table to settle on carpet. Settling means that the table will not indent into the carpet any further. Every pool table must be re-leveled once it has settled onto carpet. Leveling a table before the carpet has settled will mean that it will need to the re-leveled again once the settling has finished.

The time to settle depends on a few factors:

  • Type of carpet
  • Type of underlay
  • Thickness of underlay

It can take a few weeks for a pool table to settle once installed onto carpet.

Why Put a Rug under your Pool Table?

A rug under your pool table, also called an area rug serves a few purposes. Firstly, it protects your flooring from foot traffic and stray balls that may end up off the table. It also creates warmth in the room as well as framing the space nicely.

If you plan on having a rug under your pool table, ensure that it’s in place before installing your table. Having to move the rug, even just a little can end up being quite a challenge.

What about carpet? Can you put a rug over carpet? The answer is yes, but keep in mind that the carpet and rug will need quite some time (weeks, even months) to settle.

When buying a rug, be sure to buy one big enough so that players aren’t stepping on and off the rug when taking a shot. Having ample space around your table ensures the area is framed properly and the rug does the job it’s intended for.

Remember that the size of a pool table only refers to the playing surface size, it doesn’t include the size of the cushions and frame.

Long Term Effects (On Carpet and Pool Tables)

The obvious long term effect of a pool table on carpet is the indentation in the carpet. This is permanent so decide wisely where your pool table is going to be placed.

TIP: Carpet will never stand back up correctly if a pool table is moved

In some instances, the stain from pool table legs can transfer onto carpet. If there is any doubt then place your pool table on feet.

Also keep in mind that if you decide to move your table yourself then there is the possibility of damaging it.

Pool tables weren’t designed to be lifted and moved around.

Final Thoughts

There is a definite order in terms of what the best material is to have under a pool table.

No Go”: Laminate Flooring (The weight of the table legs will flex the laminate and will eventually cause problems with the tongues and grooves surrounding it.

Good”: Carpet

“Better”: Hardwood floors. Placing the right sized rug on top of the hardwood floor can visually frame the table well and be pleasant to walk on

Best”: Tiles. Rugs can also be installed if desired.

Carpet and rugs will provide a better experience for players as well as looking great. Simply wait for your table to settle before leveling.

Best of Luck!