A shuffleboard table is a great investment for any home game room. It’s a super fun game the whole family can enjoy. Buying one for your home is great because you’ll have access to it whenever you want. Choosing the best shuffleboard table is a matter of assessing your situation and needs, and balancing that with what you want to spend and what’s available.
Choose A Location
The first decision to make is where you are going to put this rather large game. They come in many different lengths, from small tabletop models to professional tables that are 22 feet long! You’ll want enough room for the table, and room at each end for a couple players to comfortably be able to hang out and maneuver well enough to play. While it’s possible to put a shuffleboard table up against a wall, it’s best to leave room on both sides so players will have room for those tricky shots. A good rule of thumb is to leave a minimum of 2 feet per side and on both ends. After all, you’re going to need some elbow room and you’ll also have spectators. When choosing the location for your shuffleboard, also keep in mind things that might break if a shot goes wild, for instance, windows.
Choose The Length
Once you’ve designated a space for the shuffleboard table you can choose an appropriate length. Shuffleboards start at 9’ and typically come in increments after that of 12’, 14’, 16’, 18’, 20’ and 22’. Regulation shuffleboard tables are 22 feet long and 20 inches wide. Don’t worry too much if you can’t get a full size 22 foot shuffleboard table into your home. Any shuffleboard table is better than not having one, and you’ll still have a great playing experience.
Remember though, even if you have enough room inside for a 22’ shuffleboard table that doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to get it into your house. Believe it or not, it’s a common problem. Some people order a shuffleboard table then can’t fit it through a door, or around a corner, up stairs or in an elevator. So do a lot of measuring before you order.
Shuffleboard tables come in outdoor models too, so don’t forget to consider a patio or deck as a spot to put your shuffleboard table. Outdoor tables, like the indoor ones, generally come in 9’-22’ lengths.
To choose the best shuffleboard table, you’ll have to consider the materials from which it’s made. Interestingly, shuffleboard tables are traditionally made exclusively from North American maple. This type of hardwood is resistant to changes in humidity and other climatic factors, and provides a hard smooth surface for playing. Russian birch and Canadian soft maple are also good quality woods that shuffleboard tables can be made from. Cheaper tables will be made from other types of wood or even rubber, but if you want to choose the best shuffleboard table, make sure it’s made from North American maple.
Another design feature of shuffleboard tables is a slight concave curve to the playing surface. This curve is built in to reduce the chances of a puck sliding of the edge of the table. To maintain this curvature, better tables will include metal brackets under the table that are adjustable. They’re called climatic adjusters, and allow you to control the shape of the table if it needs adjustment due to long term humidity or other climatic conditions.
To choose the best shuffleboard table, look for the finish on the surface of the table to be a polymer resin, about a quarter inch thick. Better tables will offer a lifetime guarantee on the finish. Cheaper tables you may have to refinish every couple of years or so.
Shuffleboard tables can also come with different types of scoring grids printed on the ends of the table. The most common is a horizontal grid representing three levels of scoring. Each section of the grid has a specific point value. An alternative scoring system is a triangular grid, which is divided into six scoring sections, but this is less common. And tables such as Berner Billiards shuffleboard tables feature some models with electronic scoring.
As for aesthetics, shuffleboard tables look great in just about any home. Since they’re generally made of wood, they feature nice warm tones and colors. If you want to get a little fancier, manufacturers such as Playcraft shuffleboard tables make tables with more ornate features, such as styled legs and sides that give it a parlour look and feel.
Choosing the Best Shuffleboard Table
To a large degree, choosing the best shuffleboard table is choosing the one you can get into your house. As mentioned earlier, measure carefully not only the location in which you’re going to put the table, but all the doorways, hall ways, stairs and any passage you’ll need to move the shuffleboard table through. Then consider the best materials and design you can get for what you want to spend, keeping in mind the better tables might cost more, but they are likely to last longer and give you more enjoyment. But also remember--any shuffleboard table is better than no shuffleboard table!