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Tips For Creating Your Game Room

Tips For Creating Your Game Room 0

The ideal game room reflects the interests of the owner, and the options for layout and style are endless.  If you’ve considered setting up a game room in your home or office, you may be wondering how to get started.  Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!  Here are some things to consider when setting up your own game room.

Quality over Quantity

Building out a whole game room in one go, with all the bells and whistles, is a luxury.  For most people, the best advice would be to start with a single table — the one you know will get the most use.  Once you’ve been using it for a while, you’ll be able to make better decisions regarding what could be added to improve the experience. 

This also makes sense from a financial perspective.  It’s far better to invest in a quality table and accessories that will play well and provide a quality gaming experience, vs. spending the same amount of money on several pieces of cheaper equipment that lack quality and durability.

Room Size

This is critically important!  It’s very easy to underestimate the amount of space you’ll need.  For example, a full size pool table (4.5’ x 9’) played with standard-sized cues would require a space that is a minimum of 18' 4" x 14' 6”.  Of course, using a smaller table and/or smaller cues would reduce the necessary space required.  The bottom line — do your research and make sure that whichever table you buy — whether it’s for billiards, foosball, poker, air hockey, shuffleboard or table tennis — is plenty large enough to accommodate it.  Also remember that you may want extra space to add more items later on, such as another table game, poker table, bar, etc. 

Do It With Style

It’s immensely satisfying if your game room can reflect, to some degree or another, the personality and tastes of its owner. A search on Google or Pinterest will turn up tons of ideas for very cool, purpose-built game rooms in modern, classical, and retro styles. Of course, not all of us are able to invest in a coherent, ground-up style for a game room. For that reason, a lot of the furniture you’ll find tends to follow tried-and-true styling that’s designed to look good with a number of decors while still offering some flourishes that reflect the taste of the owner. 

The First Table

As mentioned above, initially the best option to go with would be the table you know will get the most use.  With that in mind, let’s go through some of the options for your first gaming room table.


Pool Table 

Pool tables are the quintessential centerpiece of game rooms and rec rooms in the US. As with all the best games, pool can be tons of fun for a relative newcomer while still offering challenges to those who have decades of experience. 

However, a proper pool table (e.g. slate, hardwood construction) is likely going to be the most expensive of any game table investment. For this reason, we’d recommend putting some serious consideration and planning into a pool table purchase to make sure you get the most from your hard earned dollars. The upside is that a pool table has real longevity, often lasting multiple generations with proper care and a bit of maintenance, and the enjoyment a table can bring is unparalleled.

Considering the fact that it’s a long term investment, it’s especially important to make sure that you know what room size you require for the table and cue size you’re looking at. Check out our table size guidelines as a starting point

Dart Board

We’re placing this toward the top of our list as darts is easily one of the most affordable additions to a rec room. It’s a great option in that the game can involve a high level of skill and practice yet still feel accessible to novices who just want to play around. You can simply throw up a dartboard and start playing, or you can install a dartboard cabinet for a slightly more dedicated game room look. 

Foosball Table

Considered by many to be the hallmark of many rec rooms, the popularity of foosball has been increasing worldwide.  It’s a game that’s easy to learn for anyone from kids to grandparents, but it’s tough to master.  A foosball table can also work well as a second table, as it requires notably less space than a pool table or ping pong table.

Table Tennis (Ping Pong) Table 

All you have to do is jump on youtube to see that table tennis can be much more than a leisure activity. It’s also easy to learn the basics on how to play - you’ll just get a bit more exercise chasing down errant balls when you’re still learning. Depending on your game level, table tennis can certainly require the largest amount of space of any game tables, with the IFFT outlining a requirement for nearly 50 feet of space. However, the game can easily be adapted to smaller spaces. One great thing about table tennis is that you can buy a table tennis conversion top for a pool table, allowing you to maximize your game options in a limited space.

Air Hockey Table

This classic face-off between two players on a low-friction table has been an arcade staple since the 1970s.  Some tables include an LED scoreboard to help keep track of the action. 


Poker Table

While you don't really need anything more than a fold up card table, a dedicated poker table can add a lot to the experience while also making a statement that you're deadly serious about winning your buddies' cash. If we do say so ourselves, we offer some nice options here.

Where to Set Up a Game Room?

Traditionally, a basement has been a popular choice for setting up a game room, although family rooms are becoming an increasingly popular option.  Over the last half century, living room use has declined, as the traditional family room has taken its place.  In fact, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), one-third of homes built in 1999 have no living room at all. Meanwhile, the family room has evolved into the new place to gather with friends and family.  A quality gaming table in the family room not only has the obvious utility, it can enhance the room’s decor.  

Game Room in the Office: Work Hard, Play Hard

A game room doesn’t always have to be built at home - it's increasingly becoming a staple of the office environment where companies are realizing the value of employees bonding outside of strictly professional interactions. They make a statement about your brand and the culture of your workplace, making it attractive to a younger demographic of employees. Also, employees that ‘work hard and play hard’ tend to be more energized and focused, enabling them to produce better work results.

Condo Community

A game room is also a fantastic way to promote social interaction within your condominium.  Living in a condo can be a cold experience, as residents often ignore each other in the hallways and elevators.  But like children who meet in the playground, a game room gives adults a chance to interact and get to know each other, promoting a true sense of community within your condominium. Suggest it to your HOA, you may be surprised at how much enthusiasm the idea is met with, especially if you offer to spearhead the effort!

  • Christian Gould
Pool Table Buying Guide: An Introduction

Pool Table Buying Guide: An Introduction 1

Prior to investing in a pool table - entry level or high end - make sure to familiarize yourself with some of the basic aspects of what makes a table valuable for your unique requirements.
Rail Cushion Profiles: Which is Best for Your Pool Table?

Rail Cushion Profiles: Which is Best for Your Pool Table? 0

Rail cushions are crucial to your pool table's quality of play. If you're planning on replacing your cushions, first determine which cushion profile your table has now.

Cleaning Billiard Table Cloth 0

A well enjoyed Pool Table is going to get dirty. It's a fact you can't deny. You've got the normal "dust" and fuzz ball issue, pet hair if you have a pet in the home, chalk trails, accidental spills and sometimes things you can't quite identify.

The main thing to remember when taking care of the cloth on your table is never, ever, ever use a vacuum on it. This is going to pull and stretch the cloth which dramatically decreases its' durability, not to mention affect the play of the table. Not much is more frustrating than having a shot lined up perfectly, only to have a wrinkle in the loose felt send your shot off in a completely different direction.

When you clean your felt, it's a good time to clean the balls too. For the balls, warm water with a little bit of detergent works well and rinses clean. Wet a towel, wring it out, clean each ball and set aside to air dry while you tend to the cloth.

For cleaning the cloth, begin by using a special brush to sweep the bumper railings debris on to the table and then sweep any debris or lint from the edges and around the pockets, towards the center of the table. Use straight motion with your sweep, don't go circular. You want to keep your motion going with the weave of the felt so it doesn't "pucker" or shift.
Once you've swept the bumper railings and edges and are ready to begin the full table sweep, begin in the middle and work towards each end. Remember to keep straight motions, no side to side or circular.

At each end of the table, lightly sweep the debris on to a piece of thin cardboard or dust pan. Make sure your dust pan doesn't have hard plastic edges or metal along the bottom that can accidentally snag or tear the felt. The ones with a soft, pliable rubber edge work great.

Some people use a vacuum attachment to clean the inside of the pockets. We recommend using a clean, damp towel to wipe them out. Don't even bring the vacuum out and you won't be tempted to use it on the felt.

If there is a spill on the table, it's best to clean it immediately with a dry, white, cotton absorbent cloth. If the spill is not recent, use a slightly wet, warm, absorbent cotton cloth. Water only. Soaps will leave a mark and some residue. Place the cloth over the area and let it do the work. Don't over-saturate the felt and don't rub- this will stretch the felt and weaken that area. Pat over the area until the spot is removed.

There are some commercial cleaners labeled for table top cleaning. They have been formulated to offer a "dry clean". Talk with a specially trained representative at your local Pool Table retailer to see if they have a product you would like to try.

  • Christian Gould
  • Tags: Guides