When you’re designing your ideal game room, you’ll likely face this dilemma early on: Should I buy a ping pong table or a pool table? It’s an important question because either table is likely to be the focal point of your space and a huge attraction for your friends, family, and guests. Whether you’re furnishing a recreation space in an office building or community space or are designing your own game room at home, thinking through the following points can help you decide which game you should buy.
Consider the Game and the Players:
Billiards and Ping Pong are both games that require skill and are equally great for players looking for a long-term hobby. You can play each casually or build your skills to compete with other passionate players. But ping pong and pool offer different experiences for the players, much like the difference between checkers and chess or golf and tennis.
Pool tends to be a longer, slower-paced game. The strategy involved includes learning the geometry needed to make more sophisticated shots. There’s a lot of downtime for players as their opponents consider their next moves. If you’re drawn to a slow, steady challenge and the thrill of executing an unlikely shot, then having a pool table in your home may be a wise investment.
Ping Pong is a faster-paced game. There is still strategy to learn and angles to master, but the decision-making tends to be quicker and all players are engaged for the entire game. Games are shorter, so if you have several people who will be spending time in your game room or if you are thinking of adding a table to your community space, the quick turnover is an advantage. Ping-Pong also tends to be more accessible to an inexperienced player and is a great game for kids to learn how to play. If you plan on using your game room to entertain guests, a ping-pong table may be your best choice.
Individual Play: Both pool tables and ping pong tables have single-player abilities. There are many single-player pool games that are designed to challenge you and build your skills at the same time. And many ping-pong tables come with Playback Ability, which means that one side folds up to allow you to practice your shots against a backboard.
Consider Your Space:
Table Sizes: Both pool and ping pong tables take up a good deal of space. In addition to the table itself, you must have enough room around the table for the players to maneuver. You can buy 7-foot, 8-foot, and 9-foot pool tables, and cues come in 48-, 52-, and 58-inch lengths. On average, your room should be 14×17 feet to accommodate a pool table. A standard ping pong table is 9x5ft, and you typically need an extra 3-6 feet around all sides. The average amount of space needed for a ping pong table is 11x19ft.
Outdoor Spaces: If you are looking to furnish an outdoor game space, an outdoor ping pong table is your best choice. Even if your outdoor space is covered, dampness and humidity can still damage the felt on a pool table. There are many high-quality outdoor ping-pong tables that have a waterproof coating to prevent warping. Choose a table with adjustable legs to be certain that your table is level.
Consider the Style:
Either table is going to be a focal point of your room. If the aesthetics of your game room are a priority, then a pool table might be the right choice for you. High-quality pool tables are truly works of art. They come in a variety of styles, and the sleek, modern tables are just as impressive as the ornate, traditional ones. You could truly design a show-stopping game room entirely around a magnificent table.
A ping-pong table is going to give your game room a sporty, edgy look in terms of design. They easily fit into existing décor with their simple and streamlined appearance. And, if either space or aesthetics is a concern, many ping pong table models come with wheels and fold for storage. If you would like to be able to use your space for different activities, then a ping-pong table that folds up and has wheels will provide you with that versatility.
Consider the Investment:
Both games are an investment, and what you save on cheaper models does come at the expense of quality and affects gameplay. However, pool tables do tend to be more expensive than ping-pong tables. Accessories for pool tables are also a bit more expensive than ping-pong table accessories.
Conversion Tops: There are high-quality conversion tops that will turn your pool table into a ping-pong table. These tops can be expensive but are designed for excellent gameplay. They fold easily for storage, and you can buy a caddy with wheels for your convenience. However, you won’t get the same features, such as playback ability for single-player games. If you are serious about having a pool table in your game room but also want the option to play ping-pong, a conversion top is the way to go. If you are partial to ping-pong, however, the cost of having both tables in your game room may not be worth it. If you do decide on a conversion top, make sure that it has felt backing to protect your pool table.
Ultimately, it’s important to invest in a game that you enjoy the most or that you have the most excitement about playing. Your game room should reflect your personality and passions so that it brings you joy.
Choose a pool table if:
- You enjoy the excitement that comes with planning your next move and slow-and-steady competition.
- You are interested in spending longer, quieter amounts of time in your game room.
- You plan on entertaining others who are interested in learning billiards and building their skills.
- A grand and sophisticated style is important to you.
- You eventually want to add ping pong as well and are interested in a conversion top.
Choose a Ping Pong Table if:
- You enjoy the thrill of a highly energetic game.
- A shorter game that would allow players to take turns easily is important to you.
- You plan on entertaining guests who might be novice players.
- A sporty, playful atmosphere appeals to you.
- Storage is necessary for your game space.