So, you’ve decided to add some gaming tables to your home, but you don’t want something traditional like air hockey. Why not try something a bit unconventional like a home shuffleboard table.
This fun game can be enjoyed by all ages and many of the models come in a finish that adds a bit of elegance to the room. If you’re new to this type of gaming table, let our guide and recommendations below help you make a good decision.
Top 6 Best Shuffleboard Tables in 2019Our editor ratings based on value, quality, features, and durability.
What To Look For
This shuffleboard table buyer’s guide provides you with critical information to consider before investing in a table for your home. This guide will help you determine what general features to look at in determining the quality of tables you’re considering, and to determine which table is the best fit for what you’re looking for. Closely consider all the features discussed in this guide as you research the different available shuffleboard tables.
Size is one of the first aspects you’ll want to consider in finding the perfect shuffleboard table for your home. Shuffleboards can take up a good amount of space. In considering a size, be sure to take the time to determine how much clearance you’ll need when using the shuffleboard. The best way to do this is to envision yourself actually playing in the spot where you plan to set up the table. If it feels awkward, you’ll want to consider different dimensions for your table.
If you aren’t a visual person, it would be worthwhile to mark the potential size of the table with tape on your floor. Make sure that there is enough room for players on each end of the table and enough to easily walk around the table. You’ll also want to make sure you can access and enter the room comfortably.
Additionally, consider the location of the room you plan on having your shuffleboard table. You need to ask yourself how the table is going to get into the desired room. Narrow hallways and doorways will make getting the shuffleboard inside your home and to the specific room problematic. It is possible to use cranes and lifts to get shuffleboards upstairs. But if you want to avoid all of that, you’ll need to consider a new room or a different size table.
The width of shuffleboards range between only 16 and 20 inches and the length goes anywhere from 8 to 22 feet. Traditionally, these boards are approximately 3 inches in thickness. However, the thickness may vary. If you find a table that is less than 3 inches thick, be wary. These tables will easily crack or chip under regular pressure and use of your shuffleboard table. Regulation-sized shuffleboards are 20 inches in width and 22 feet long. But, you don’t need to have a 22 foot long shuffleboard table for the game to be challenging enough for it to be fun. A table that is only 9 foot long, for instance, will eventually make you feel like something is lacking. A table that short won’t be challenging enough in the long run. Of course, tables that are longer and wider are going to cost more than smaller tables.
For those trying to stay on a budget while getting the best bang for your buck, your best bet will be getting a table between 12 and 16 feet long, and 16 inches wide. Smaller puck sizes are available to scale to a smaller table as well. If the tables you’re finding aren’t fitting your size needs, customized sizing is always available.
Materials and Surface Finish
Shuffleboard tables are made from wood pieces which are laminated together in vertical running layers. Harder woods, while costing more, will offer you a more durable shuffleboard. A smooth, shiny surface isn’t the sole aspect that is important in considering the wood. Shuffleboards can be damaged in high-intensity games, and if pucks are dropped on the surface. A solid, and toucher wood will minimize the accidental damage to your shuffleboard, such as dents, dings and scratches.
The best and highest quality shuffleboards are made with woods such as maple, oak, mahogany and birch. The surface itself may be made from a different type of wood than the other parts of the shuffleboard table, such as the legs.
Softer woods, such as Canadian soft maple and Russian birch, when finished with a polymer will offer you a cost effective solution. It is a more affordable way to get a quality wood, while ensuring the wood is hard and strong enough to minimize potential damage. The cheapest tables are made with rubber wood, poplar and China birch. Unfortunately, the wood of these tables will be more prone to warping when the climate changes. Humid environments will have a stronger effect on woods of these types. Warped wood means that the playing surface will be a bit uneven, potentially hurting your shuffleboard playing experience.
Shuffleboards can be finished with a clear, shiny polymer coating or a shiny plastic laminate. This coat makes it less work for you as a future shuffleboard owner. You’ll avoid frequent re-finishing. The polymer coating in comparison with common plastic laminates will make our shuffleboard more durable. The surface will be less likely to peel, scratch, chip, crack, and dent. The higher quality tables have American made polymer resin as a finish. The resin should be about a quarter of an inch thick. Some of the higher quality shuffleboard tables will also include a lifetime guarantee on the polymer coatings, which is a great deal. Lower quality finishes such as spray-on finishes need to be re-finished more frequently in order to maintain smoothness, slickness and evenness.
Shuffleboard tables are lastly coated in wax. Shuffleboard waxes vary, allowing you to truly customize the playing experience. Waxes are categorized based on a system that ranks the speed the wax will allow your puck to move at. The rating system ranges from 1 to 3, with 1 creating the slowest table surface, and 3 creating a super slick, and fast playing surface. Unwaxed surfaces will make your puck not glide as smoothly as it could.
In selecting a wax, you’ll also have to consider the length of your table. You’ll want to select a faster wax for longer boards. A fast wax ensures that the momentum is maintained as a puck slides across a table. Slow waxes are better suited to the shorter tables. This prevents the pucks from sliding too far, or slide completely off the table. It will also make it easier to gauge how far your shot will go. Lower speed waxes gives the surface a bit more resistance by increasing the level of friction, which in turn gives you a better level of control over the puck. You can have more customization over the speed by buying several waxes of different speed ratings and mixing them. It is recommended that you get a variety of waxes.
The surface of your shuffleboard table should be slightly curved downwards. This concave curve helps to reduce the puck sliding off the sides of the boards. The ends of the table should be slightly more concave than the center. Weather conditions can affect how this curvature changes. People living in moist, humid climates should be especially concerned as the moisture in the air can get into the pores of the wood that your shuffleboard table is made out of. Depending on the quality of the wood and the table’s finish, this can majorly impact the shape of this concave curve by warping the wood. If you live in a humid climate, you’ll be better off investing in a table with higher quality materials that can withstand these kind of detrimental weather conditions. Some shuffleboard tables include a few climate adjusters to maintain the correct curvature of the table. These climatic adjusters are further discussed in detail below.
The outer cabinet of the shuffleboard table is the structure that actually holds the table together. It is usually coated with laminates or veneers. Solid hardwood used in the outer cabinet structure ensures that the table has enough weight to stay in place. Professional shuffleboard tables use hardwood for this outer cabinet. It is great to have that extra support, especially if you expect to play some pretty intense games. Be sure to read carefully when noting the specs of the outer cabinet. It may seem like the cabinet itself is made of hardwood, but retailers use the word “finish” to describe what the wood looks like. For instance, a “maple finish” isn’t the same as a “maple cabinet”.
There are two different kinds of scoring grids available to you for your shuffleboard table. There is a 3-level grid which has a 1-2-3 scoring system. This scoring system is the most common of the two. There is a triangular scoring grid option, which is most commonly used for outdoor shuffleboard tables. You have the option to opt for a newer electronic scoring system as well. Systems with electronic scoring automatically keeps track of the score as users play.
Other Features to Look For
Shuffleboards may be equipped with climatic adjusters. Not all boards have climatic adjusters, however. If the shuffleboard table you’re thinking of buying doesn’t have any climatic adjusters, you can certainly buy them separately to attach to the board yourself. You will find these located at the bottom of the board, bolted to the bottom surface. The length of a shuffleboard will determine how many climatic adjusters are equipped with the table. There can be anywhere between four and six climatic adjusters attached to a board. The adjusters allow you to maintain the shape of the surface, and the quality of the shuffleboard. By maintaining the shape of the board, you ensure optimal speed and game accuracy.
If you’re having trouble finding a shuffleboard table that will fit in your home, and don’t see that as a feasible option, consider getting an outdoor shuffleboard table. Most of the shuffleboard tables you’ll find are suited for indoor use. However, there are tables which have been coated with weatherproof sealer on the table’s legs, outer cabinet, and top surface. Tables such as these would make a great addition to your backyard, patio or deck.
Getting a Good Fit In Your Room
A shuffleboard table will make for a great addition to your home. To find the best fit for your home and lifestyle, remember what specific features to consider, and what questions to ask yourself. There are many options offered for each feature of the tables that should be considered. Remember to carefully read product descriptions to understand what you are getting for the money.
Pay attention to the size, material of the surface and outer cabinet, the finishes used, as well as the scoring system. When considering the size, a good rule of thumb to follow is that you need about 3 feet around the ends of the shuffleboard for comfortable play and enough space for you to walk around the sides of the table. To really visualize how much space a shuffleboard table will take up, use tape to mark the outline of the table on your floors. For a top-quality table, make sure you go to people who know what they are doing and specialize in making shuffleboard tables.
Recall that getting a shuffleboard that is too small will take the fun out playing, because it won’t be adequately challenging. Be sure to also pick up a variety of waxes with different speed ratings, so you can find your sweet spot for the speed of the puck on your particular table. Shuffleboard tables vary greatly in price. It may be worth to invest a little more because there can really be a high variation in quality, and the price goes up accordingly. Determine what features of a shuffleboard table are important to you and be sure to research to find competitive prices for the quality you are looking to buy.
If you are having trouble finding the features in a table you are looking for, look into companies that offer customized tables. Some of these companies offer custom logos or graphics for the surface of the board for an extra fee. You can find shuffleboard tables online or at sporting goods stores. Look into the companies that you are buying from to ensure reputable table crafters and sellers. Following these guidelines will ensure you get the highest quality table.