At Billiards and Darts Direct, we sell a lot of pool tables. When a customer asks me what the difference is between felt grades, I usually show them a swatch chart that lets them feel the difference for themselves. However, this being the internet (and feel-o-vision not yet being invented) I am taking a different approach at explaining the difference between standard and professional grade felt.
First up, we have standard grade felt. This is characterized by having much more nap (fuzzyness) and may ball up when brushed. Because of that extra texture, balls will not roll as fast or as accurately when shot on standard grade felt. This is a major reason why professional pool players prefer to shoot on professional grade felt.
The professional grade felt is much smoother and doesn’t have the nap that a standard grade does. It also has a grain which makes the surface uniform across the playingfield. When balls roll across it, they travel much more smoothly and accurately. With professional grade felt, everything is much more precise.
The question remains in the new pool table buyer’s mind; “do I need professional grade felt?” The simple answer is, yes. The upgrade to professional felt is a minor cost difference (usually only about $100 more than standard felt) and it can have a major impact on the accuracy of your game. As usual, feel free to come on down to Billiards and Darts Direct and feel the difference for yourself.