Coin-Operated Pool Tables and When to Replace Pool Table Rails

Coin-Operated Pool Tables and When to Replace Pool Table Rails


According to research, the pool table market size is projected to reach $291.6 million by 2028.

If you're interested in capitalizing on this market, you'll want to make sure that you have a good pool hall running. But if you want to be successful, you need to ensure that all pool table parts are working properly, including pool table rails.

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about when (and how) to replace pool table rails and keep the pool hall full of avid players. 

How Long Do They Last?

Pool tables and their parts can last for a variety of different lengths, but it will depend on environmental conditions. For example, if you have your pool table in the sun most days, then this table won't last as long as one that is always in the dark.

Direct sunlight dries out the rubber causing cracks while aging the materials at a rapid rate. 

For best conditions, you'll want to keep your pool in a stable and cool environment. In general, the pool table rails will last far longer if they're high quality and you take care of them.

If they're lower in quality, they may only last a decade. If you don't take care of them, they may only last a few years. When you're buying replacements, keep this in mind.

Higher quality rails will cost more upfront, but it'll save you in the long run. 

Test for Damage

Before you start repairing or replacing your rails, you need to test for damage as well. Thankfully, there are a few main tests that we recommend.

For example, squeeze the rail cushions. You can use the pressure from your fingers and go around the table while squeezing the rail cushions. You should be able to squeeze it between 1/8" or 1/4", with little effort.

You can also use your fingers to feel the rails as well. Go under the rail, where the edge hangs from the playing surface of the table. You want to feel for any worn areas or grooves. If you find this, then this indicates that the cushions are worn out, and the rails won't have as much spring to them. You can also try to wiggle the rubber under the felt. The rubber should be glued to the wood - some manufacturers struggle to maintain adhesion over time and you can feel that the rubber is no longer attached to the wood rail backing. 

You can also listen to the sound of the ball when you shoot it into the rail. The ball should come back with a moderate to fast rebound - although this takes experience - as ‘fast’ is subjective. When you shoot the ball in, if it jumps off the playing surface you need to replace the rail cushion. 

You'll also want to see how the ball reacts when you roll it slowly toward the rail. If the ball completely stops, then your rails are worn out and need to be replaced. 

If the rebound is consistent, then your rails are likely fine. If the rebound is different each time, you'll need to replace your rails. 

How to Replace Your Rails

If your pool table failed any of the tests, then you'll need to replace them. Thankfully, this process isn't too difficult, and you can do it in five easy steps.

1. Remove the Rails and Felt

First, remove the rails. The rails will be screwed in place through the frame - likely there is a facia or other cosmetic element that is hiding the screws. 

If you are needing new rails - this is the ideal time to replace the felt too (and it probably is needed anyway). 

Part 2. Buy New Rails 

If you know the make, model, and year of your table - you can order new rails. If you don’t know the make or model - send us an email and a picture and we can help you find the information you need. offers bare rails as well as covered rails - save your time and hassle and get the rails covered in your chosen cloth by experts. 

Part 3. Install Cloth 

Resurfacing a pool table takes a little finesse and the right tools. We recommend hiring a professional - but there are also plenty of YouTube videos on the subject, if you’re feeling adventurous. 

Part 4. Install Rails 

Once the playing surface is installed, you can put the new rails on.

Part 5. Next Step

Play pool - a lot… and invite your friends over to boast about how well your table plays and how awesome it looks! 

Discover More About How to Replace Pool Table Rails

These are only a few things to know how to replace pool table rails, but you'll need to gather the materials. 

If you determined that you need to replace your rails, you'll want to buy high-quality rails.

Thankfully, we have you covered. Check out our website to find the best rails on the market.

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