How To Install Pool Table Felt?

Are you ready to give your pool table a fresh new look?

In this article, we’ll show you how to install pool table felt in just a few simple steps.

From preparing the table to attaching the cloth and replacing cushion with new cloth, we’ve got you covered.

Get ready to transform your pool table and elevate your game to a whole new level!

First, let’s quickly go over how often you’ll need to replace the felt on your pool table.

Pool table felt, also known as pool table cloth, is an essential component of your pool table. It provides a smooth surface for the balls to roll on and protects the playing surface from scratches and damage.

The lifespan of pool table felt depends on a few factors, such as the quality of the felt, the frequency of use, and how well it’s maintained. On average, you should expect to replace the felt on your pool table every 3 to 5 years. However, if you play regularly or notice any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed edges or bald spots, it may be time to replace the felt sooner.

Regularly brushing and vacuuming the felt can help prolong its lifespan and maintain optimal playing conditions.


To prepare for installing pool table felt, you’ll want to gather all the necessary materials and ensure that your pool table is clean and free of any debris. Before you begin, make sure you have the new felt, a staple gun, staples, a straight edge, scissors, and a vacuum cleaner.

Start by removing the old felt from the table surface, carefully peeling it off and discarding it. Once the surface is clear, vacuum any dust or dirt that may have accumulated.

Next, inspect the table for any imperfections or damage and repair them if necessary. Smooth out any bumps or wrinkles on the table surface to ensure a flat and even playing surface.

Cleaning the Table Thoroughly Before Installation

Before you install the new pool table felt, make sure to thoroughly clean the table surface.

Cleaning the pool table properly is an essential step to ensure a smooth and long-lasting installation of the pool table felt. Start by removing any dirt, dust, or debris from the table using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner. Pay close attention to the corners and edges of the table, as these areas tend to accumulate more dirt.

Next, use a mild detergent mixed with warm water to wipe down the entire surface of the table. Make sure to remove any stains or spills that may have accumulated over time.

Tightening Screws and Grouting Joints With a Flexible Filler

To properly install pool table felt, you’ll need to tighten screws and grout joints with a flexible filler. Before starting this step, ensure that all the screws on the table are secure. Use a screwdriver to tighten any loose screws, paying attention to the ones around the edges and pockets. This will prevent any movement or sagging of the felt once it’s installed.

Next, examine the joints between the table’s slates. If there are any gaps or unevenness, they need to be filled with a flexible filler. This will ensure a smooth and level playing surface. Apply the filler along the joints, using a putty knife or your finger to push it into the gaps. Be sure to wipe away any excess filler to maintain a clean appearance.

Attaching Cloth to The Table

To attach the cloth to the table, you’ll need a staple gun.

Start by laying the felt over the table, ensuring it’s centered and straight. Smooth out any wrinkles or creases.

Beginning at one end, fold the cloth over the edges of the table and staple it in place. Space the staples evenly and make sure they’re secure.

Work your way around the table, stretching the cloth as you go to ensure a tight fit. Be careful not to pull too tightly, as this could cause the cloth to tear or warp.

Once the cloth is securely attached, trim any excess fabric, leaving about an inch of overhang.

Attaching Cloth to Rails

To attach each piece of the cloth to the rails of your pool table, you’ll need a staple gun and a steady hand. This step is crucial in ensuring a smooth and professional-looking installation of the table felt.

Start by lining up the cloth along one side of the rail, making sure it’s stretched taut. Use the staple gun to attach the pull cloth tightly to the rail, placing staples about every 2 to 3 inches. Work your way around the rail, pulling the cloth tight as you go and making sure there are no wrinkles or creases.

Trim off any excess cloth, leaving about an inch of fabric to fold over the edge of the rail. Fold the trim excess cloth back over the rail and secure it with additional staples. Repeat this process for each rail until all are securely attached.

Corner Pockets

Attach the cloth to the corner pockets using a staple gun and ensure a secure and neat installation. Start by positioning the cloth over the corner pocket opening, making sure it’s centered and smooth. Fold the excess cloth over the pocket edge and secure it with the staple gun.

Begin by stapling at one corner and then move to the opposite corner to ensure even tension. Continue stapling along the edges, spacing the staples evenly. Trim any excess cloth if necessary.

Make sure the cloth is pulled tightly and smoothly over the corner pocket to avoid any wrinkles or sagging. This will ensure a professional and polished look to your pool table.

Laying the Cloth Correctly Over the Rail

Now, position the cloth over the rail, ensuring it’s centered and smooth, while folding any excess cloth over the edge for a secure and polished installation. Start by aligning one end of the cloth with the end of the rail.

Gently drape the cloth over the rail, making sure it’s evenly distributed. Smooth out any wrinkles or folds as you go along. Carefully tuck the cloth into the pocket openings, ensuring a snug fit. Work your way around the rail, adjusting and smoothing the cloth as needed. Take your time to ensure a proper installation.

Once the cloth is in place, use a staple gun to secure it to the underside of the rail, making sure to keep the cloth taut. This will ensure a smooth and professional finish.

Side Pockets

To continue the installation process, you’ll now focus on the side pockets of the pool table.

After securing the pool tablecloth on the head end of the rail, it’s important to properly attach it to the side pockets as well.

Start by removing any existing staples using a staple remover. Carefully pull out each staple, making sure not to damage the pool cloth or the side pockets.

Once all the staples are removed, align the pool cloth with the side pocket opening and use a staple gun to secure it in place. Make sure to stretch the cloth tightly to avoid any wrinkles or sagging.

Repeat this process for each side pocket until all are properly covered and secured.


Stretching and Stapling the Cloth Over the Cushion Nose

To properly install the pool table felt, follow these steps:

1. Stretch and staple the cloth tightly over the cushion nose, ensuring a smooth and secure fit.

2. Start by aligning the cloth with the cushion nose and gently tugging it to remove any wrinkles or creases.

3. Use a staple gun to secure the cloth to the wood underneath.

4. Begin at the center of the cushion nose and work your way towards the ends, stapling the cloth and rubber cushion every few inches.

5. Make sure to pull the cloth tight as you go to prevent any sagging or loose areas.

6. As you reach the ends, fold the excess cloth neatly and staple it underneath the cushion nose for a clean finish.

7. Trim any excess fabric if necessary.

This step is crucial for maintaining a professional-looking pool table and ensuring optimal gameplay.

Replacing Cushion Cloth (Pocket Tables)

When replacing the cushion cloth on your pocket table, it’s important to follow a few simple steps to ensure a smooth and successful installation.

First, remove the old cushion cloth by carefully peeling it away from the rail.

Clean the rail thoroughly to remove any debris or adhesive residue.

Next, measure and cut the new cushion cloth to the appropriate size, making sure to leave some excess fabric for stretching.

Apply a thin layer of adhesive to the rail and press the cloth firmly into place, smoothing out any wrinkles or bubbles.

Finally, trim off the excess fabric and allow the adhesive to dry completely before playing on the table.

Removing Old Rails and Staples Carefully

When replacing the cushion cloth on your pocket table, you’ll need to carefully remove the old rails and staples.

To start, use a staple remover or pliers to gently lift the staples from the rail. Be sure to take your time and avoid damaging the wood or the cloth underneath.

Once the staples are removed, carefully pry off the old rails using a flathead screwdriver or a putty knife. Take extra care not to scratch or dent the table surface. Set aside the old rails and staples for disposal.

With the old rails and staples removed, you can now proceed to install the new pool table felt, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Installing New Featherstrips

If you have removed the old rails and staples, you’ll now need to install new featherstrips if necessary. Featherstrips are an essential component of pool table felt installation. They’re used to secure the felt to the rails and ensure a smooth playing surface.

To install new featherstrips, first, make sure you have the correct size and type for your pool table. Then, align the featherstrips along the edge of the table, making sure they’re straight and flush with the rail. Use a staple gun to secure the featherstrips in place, placing staples approximately every two inches.

Make sure to stretch the felt tightly over the featherstrips as you staple it down. Once the featherstrips are securely fastened, you can proceed with the rest of the pool table felt installation process.


Once your pool table felt is installed, proper maintenance is crucial to extend its life and maintain a consistent playing surface. Here are some tips to keep your felt in top condition:

  • Regular Cleaning: Dust and chalk can accumulate on the felt and affect play. Use a soft-bristled brush to gently sweep the felt, moving from one end of the table to the other in a straight line. For a deeper clean, a hand-held vacuum on a low setting can be used to remove embedded debris.

  • Spill Management: Spills should be avoided at all costs, as they can stain the felt and potentially warp the slate beneath. If a spill occurs, blot it immediately with a dry, absorbent cloth. Avoid rubbing, as this can push the liquid deeper into the felt.

  • Humidity Control: Excessive humidity can lead to stretching and warping of the felt. Try to maintain a stable environment with a humidity level between 40-60%. A dehumidifier can help in damp conditions, while a humidifier can add necessary moisture in dry climates.

  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can fade the felt and cause it to dry out and become brittle. If possible, position your pool table away from direct sunlight or use window treatments to mitigate exposure.

  • Proper Equipment Use: Only use cues and balls that are in good condition. Damaged equipment can tear the felt or leave marks. Also, discourage players from sitting on the table or placing objects on it that could damage the felt.

  • Professional Resurfacing: Over time, even with the best care, felt will show signs of wear. Consult with a professional to assess whether it’s time for a cleaning, stretching, or complete replacement.


During the installation of pool table felt, you might encounter a few hiccups. Here’s how to handle some of the common issues:

Dealing with Air Bubbles Under the Felt

If you notice air bubbles or pockets after laying down the felt, don’t worry. Gently lift the felt near the bubble and use a soft brush or your hand to smooth out the air towards the edges. For stubborn bubbles, a small pin can be used to create a tiny hole for the air to escape, then smooth it down.

Correcting Misaligned Felt

If your felt isn’t aligned correctly, causing it to be off-center or crooked, the key is to act quickly before securing it in place. Carefully peel back the felt to the point of misalignment, reposition it, and then continue to stretch and staple it from the center outwards to maintain even tension.

Wrinkles or Creases in the Felt

Wrinkles can be a sign of uneven tension. To fix this, remove the staples from the affected area and stretch the felt more evenly. Use a flat hand to smooth out the felt as you pull it tight before restapling.

Excess Felt at the Pockets

Excess felt at the pockets can look untidy and affect ball movement. Trim the excess with sharp scissors or a razor blade, leaving just enough to tuck into the pocket area. Ensure the felt is snug against the pocket’s edges for a clean finish.

Red and Brown pool table

Frequently Asked Questions

What tools and materials do I need to refelt my pool table?

To refelt a pool table, you will need a level, screwdriver, ratchet, staple gun, adhesive, wire cutters, and possibly additional tools for dismantling the table and attaching the new felt.

What are the common mistakes to avoid when installing pool table felt?

Common mistakes to avoid when installing pool table felt include not stretching the felt evenly, or stretching cloth tightly, leading to wrinkles or ripples, and placing staples too far apart, which can cause the cloth to loosen over time. It’s also important to ensure the felt is not too tight, as this can affect playability and potentially damage the slate.

Can I reuse the felt from my pool table, or do I need to buy new felt every time?

Pool table felt can sometimes be removed and reused one time, particularly if it has been carefully detached and is still in good condition. However, after significant use or multiple removals, the felt may become worn and require replacement. It’s not recommended to reuse felt if it has degraded or if the table is used frequently.

How long does it typically take to refelt a pool table?

Refelting a pool table typically takes a professional about 2 to 3 hours.


To wrap up the process of installing pool table felt, it’s important to ensure that all components, such as the featherstrips, are securely in place.

After carefully attaching the new felt to the table surface, make sure that the featherstrips are aligned properly and firmly attached to the table rails. These strips play a crucial role in keeping the felt in place and preventing any wrinkles or sagging. Give them a gentle tug to ensure they’re securely fastened.

Additionally, take a moment to inspect the overall appearance of the felt. Look for any visible wrinkles, bumps, or uneven areas and make any necessary adjustments.

Once you’re satisfied with the installation, you can now enjoy playing on your newly installed pool table felt.