I'm starting to look at finishing my basement, and am playing with a couple different layouts. I definitely want to put a pool table down there - and later sell the house with this being one of the big selling points. Length shouldn't be an issue, but how wide does my room need to be to properly fit a full-size pool table and comfortably play on it?


You need enough room to be able to properly line up and execute any shot. I would say you need at least 5 to 6ft "elbow room" around the table.

A regulation sized pool table is 4.5'x9'.


So your room needs to be 14.5' x 19' to 16.5' x 21' (which sounds very large).

  • Yikes... that is larger than what I was hoping to get away with. Sounds like I'll need to move the bathroom to get that big. – Jeffrey Jul 28 '10 at 20:17
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    They do make shorter pool cues for confined areas. – Jeff Widmer Jul 28 '10 at 20:20
  • I guess it could be worse - just looked up Snooker and see that those tables are 6'x12'. – Jeffrey Jul 28 '10 at 20:20
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    @Jeffrey - I wouldn't compromise on the "elbow room" but go for a smaller table. If you can't play properly you won't play at all and the room will be wasted. While a 3/4 or 1/2 sized table might not be what you dreamt of you will be able to use it. – ChrisF Jul 28 '10 at 20:20
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    Definitely don't skimp on the elbow room. We had a pool table in our dorm lounge that was a little too big for the room. The room ended up with several ventilation holes in the walls from overzealous pool players. – Doresoom Jul 28 '10 at 20:32

Here is another good source for sizing a room for various sized pool tables.

This table (borrowed from that site) is a good rule of thumb when using full sized cue sticks.

Table Size        Minimum Room Size  Playing surface  
3.5' x 7'         16' 8" x 13' 6"    39.5" x 79"  
4' x 8'           17' 4" x 13' 11"   44" x 88"  
4.25' x 8.5'      17' 9" x 14' 1"    46" x 92"  
4.5' x 9'         18' 4" x 14' 6"    50" x 100"   
  • the change from 4' to 4.5' wide (6") requires an additional 12" of width? And from 7' to 8' in length (12") only needs an extra 5"? This table seems suspect to me, as it doesn't follow the formula they give on that same page. – Joe Jul 29 '10 at 1:17

At a minimum, you'll want 5 feet in every direction around the table to have enough room to use a full size stick. They do of course make short sticks for tight areas though. Not ideal, but it's an option if you don't have 15' or so to work with.

  • My dad had a pool table in a constrained space; it's not that often that you had a shot straight across the table with the ball all the way against the bumper. The short stick got used, but it's not like you needed it every other shot. – Joe Jul 29 '10 at 1:12

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