If you invested in a billiards table, you’ll want to make sure you take proper care it. And just like a car, regular maintenance is also important to the table’s performance.

Here are some common concerns and proper care instructions for tables and accessories.

Table Covers

Cover the table any time you’re not using it. This will help keep the table dust-free and protect it from dampness, accidental damage and possible damage from exposure to direct sunlight.

Table Brushing

Proper brushing (with the nap) directly affects the playing quality of a billiards table. Lack of proper brushing can cause a billiard ball to drift or fade. Bed cloth and side rails should be brushed from the head toward the foot end of the table. End rails should be brushed from left to right as viewed from the head end of the table. Always brush with straight strokes, never in a scrubbing or circular motion. After brushing, use an upholstery attachment of a household vacuum cleaner to pick up any dust or dirt. Don’t neglect the area under the cushion overhang. Brush as often as is necessary to maintain the table in good playing condition.

Bed Spots

Continuous ball spotting can cause premature wear at the spotting points if these points are neglected. Periodically examine the spots and re-glue loose spots and replace missing or worn spots immediately. To replace an adhesive spot, first thoroughly brush the spot area. Self-adhesive spots don’t require water application. After positioning either spot, roll it down with a billiard ball for best results.

Lighting

A general rule of thumb recommended by Brunswick Billiards is to hang the fixture 30” above the table. This will keep the glare from the eyes and provide enough light on the bed. Proper lighting is essential to the game of billiards. The fixture should be kept clean and all weak or burned out bulbs should be replaced. Of course, a light designed for this purpose is the best choice.

Cloth

The life of the commercial grade cloth depends on how often your table is used. We estimate the cloth will need to be replaced every three to five years under normal play and care. By comparison, pool parlors with heavy use should replace it every 6 months. Discourage players from trying masse, jump and scoop shots. Even the most accomplished players will leave cloth burns, white marks or tears. (See sheet on burn marks for centennial cloth.) Balls should not be dropped on the table. White marks will appear at the end you break from, or when a ball is dropped. This is normal. Brush the cloth as needed. When using a brush, brush the debris toward each pocket. Then brush the entire surface lengthwise in one direction. Cover the table with a dust cover when not in use. It is recommended that the tips of all of the cue sticks be shaped prior to use; this will minimize damage to the cloth. If a liquid is spilled on the cloth, place a soft absorbent towel or cloth over the spot to soak up as much liquid as possible. Continue to blot often with a new, clean towel to absorb any remaining liquid.

Table Finish

Brunswick offers both laminated and furniture finish tables. Care for the laminated tables is easy:  A lightly damp cloth with mild detergent will clean the table and keep it looking new. Furniture finish tables take a bit more care. Unlike the laminate rails, furniture finish rails are not burn, stain and scratch resistant. Although the finish has been designed to be durable, it is not recommended the rails be used as a bridge. Cueing directly on top of the finish can cause friction scars and eventually wear through the finish. This type of damage is NOT covered under warranty.

Like any fine piece of furniture in the home, the table must be cleaned and polished to maintain its beauty over time. A good quality furniture polish or wax will help protect it. Care should be taken to not get the polish/wax on the table cloth as it can stain or discolor it. This is especially true when polishing the rails. Decorative metal parts such as the miters or castings also require care. The sweat from hands can be corrosive to metal finishes. These parts should be wiped clean with a damp cloth after each use and occasional coat of polish or wax will help protect them. If a rail is scratched, it can be concealed with the careful use of a furniture touch-up marker that matches your table’s finish.

Billiard Balls

Periodically, billiard balls should be thoroughly wiped with a soft, dry cloth to maintain their luster. When they appear dirty or dull looking, clean and polish them with an over the counter billiard ball cleaner. Never use a buffing wheel or similar device to polish billiard balls, as this will result in out-of-round balls that will not roll true. Never attempt to clean the balls with a bleach or product to whiten the balls. Centennial and Heritage Balls are made of phenolic resin and will naturally yellow over time.

Cues

Periodically, wipe the cues with a dry, polishing cloth. Inspect for warped cues, rough or dirty cues, defective cue tips, points or bumpers. One common cause for warped cues is leaning them against the wall instead of placing them in a cue rack. Intense heat, cold or dampness can also warp cues; so cue racks should never be located near hot or cold air outlets, radiators, heaters etc. Rubber bumpers are screwed into the butt of the cue to prevent the cue from splitting or being damaged in the event that the butt contacts the floor or other hard surface. Loose bumpers should be tightened immediately and split or worn bumpers should be replaced.

Cushion Rubber

The cushion rubber will last for years with normal use and care. Try not to sit on the rails or place heavy objects on the rails, as this can cause the rubber to break loose. If rubber replacement becomes necessary, contact an authorized Brunswick dealer for availability and pricing. Because of the special tools required, replacement should not be done by anyone other than an authorized Brunswick dealer.

Pockets

Leather is a product of mother nature, and, consequently, there may be minor variations in color or texture from pocket to pocket. The pockets are no different than a pair of shoes, handbag or briefcase. They can be scuffed. They may be stiff at the onset, but with normal use the pockets will absorb the natural oils and moisture from the hand of the players. If the pockets do not hang symmetrically, simply weigh them by leaving balls in the pockets for a few days. (We do not recommend storing balls in the pockets!)  Using a pocket as a playing guide for the cue stick can cause the finish to rub off. Occasionally wipe the leather with a damp cloth to remove soil.

Table Levelness

Tables that are out of level cause erratic ball action. If a table is installed on carpet, it is likely that it will need to be releveled when it settles. The room in which the table is kept must be climatically controlled. Extremes in temperature or changes in humidity levels can contribute to a table becoming unleveled. Also, sitting on or moving the table may cause it to become unleveled.

General

Do not attempt to move the table. Your pool table has been professionally installed by an authorized Brunswick Billiard dealer’s installers. The table is not just a heavy piece of furniture, but attempting to move it can harm the slate, aprons, rails or you. Attempting to move your table will VOID THE WARRANTY.  If you are in need of having your table moved, even in the event of having new flooring installed, please contact an authorized Brunswick Billiards dealer to schedule a service visit.