Author: Curt Riedy
There are several important factors to consider when setting up your game room. First and foremost, you need to decide what kind of game room it is you want. Do you have enough room? Can all your dream items fit within your budget? Do you have children, and if so, are they age-appropriate or responsible enough for the kind of room you wish to have?
Well, don't worry, because we're here to answer some of those lingering game room questions you may be asking yourself, and help guide you through that potentially frustrating set-up process. All we ask in return is that you throw us an invite once you're ready to break in that new table of yours.
Game Room Pricing Breakdown – What You Can Expect:
Be prepared to spend. Since we imagine your game room will consist of more than just a couple board games and an X-Box, anticipate spending a minimum of at least $4,000-$5,000 if you expect to collect a decent assortment of the goodies you want; such as a bar, billiards table, furniture, and other gaming equipment.
Here's a quick breakdown of the prices you should expect to pay to kick off your dream game room:
|Billiards Table||$500 - $5,000 (depending on style/model)|
|Home Bar Set||$1,500 - $4,000 (prices reflect stools & accessories)|
|Game Room Furniture||$500 - $1,500 (for complete set)|
|Wall Decorations||$100 - $500 (Posters, Light-Up Signs, Dartboards, etc)|
|Arcade/Pinball Machines||$300 - $1,500 (for vintage machines)|
|Lighting||$100 - $250 (for pool table lights)|
Kids or No Kids:
Sure, it may be called a game room, but do you really want your brand new table littered with empty juice boxes and SpongeBob toys? No, probably not. If you’re serious about setting up a great-looking billiards room for yourself, you may want to consider making it a restricted, “Adults Only” affair, or consider putting it off until that magical day when Little Timmy makes his way off to College.
Make Sure You Have the Space:
The first big step to prepping your game room is to measure the area you have to work with. A game room tends to be best served by putting your primary focus on one main form of entertainment. Obviously, we strongly feel that if a pool table is part of the game room equation, then it deserves to be the central piece of furniture in your game room. The key to it all is making it fit.
In order to do this correctly, you need to check the measurements of the space you have, as suggested by the Billiard Congress of America (BCA).
|The chart below displays the minimum size required for the combination of any pool table size and cue length in your home game room.|
|Table Size||42" Cue||48" Cue||52" Cue||58" Cue|
|7'(39" x 78")||10'9" x 14'||11'6" x 14' 9"||12'2" x 15'5"||13' x 16' 3"|
|8' (44" x 88")
||11' x 14' 7"||12' x 15' 7"||12'7" x 16'3"||13' 5" x 17' 1"|
|8 1/2' (46" x 92")||11' 1" x 14' 11"||12' 1" x 15' 11"||12' 3 x 16' 7"||13' 7" x 17' 5"|
|9' (50" x 100")||11' 5" x 15' 7"||12' 5" x 16' 7"||13' 14" x 17' 3"||13' 11" x 18' 1"|
7 Foot Table:
This economically sized table is useful in rooms that are too small for a larger billiard table.
8 Foot Table:
The table size most recreational players are used to, these 8-foot tables are most popular for home usage. Also, the 8 1/2 table will provide that happy medium for players on the fence between a recreational and tournament-ready table.
9 Foot Table:
This is the most recognized size for professional tournament play. If you’re looking for a truly authentic home billiards experience, this is the table for you.
There’s also the option of a 10-Foot Table, which at 56 by 112 inches (and that’s just the playing surface) will look terrific in your home…as long as you’re ready to knock out a bedroom or two to give it enough space.
As referenced in the table chart above, it’s vital that you also take the length of the pool stick (48 to 58 inches) into account, in addition to the extra six inches for the stroke.
Using this particular formula, an ideal room size would be 14 feet 2 inches wide by 17 feet 10 inches long, as long as you’re planning to not add much else. Anything smaller will most likely result in a rather uncomfortable playing situation.
Sketch It Out:
Here’s a fun activity that will help you to fully map out a game plan. Go ahead and get all the primary measurements: height, width, and length. Once you have the correct proportions, scale the room down on a piece of paper with a quick sketch. Then, using a paper and scissors, make a few to-scale drawings of the ideal game room equipment you wish to include, and cut them out individually. Move the pieces around to find ideal placement for each piece of equipment.
For an even more accurate representation, this same activity can also be done on the computer using a program like Adobe Photoshop.
Game Room Accessories:
Fortunately, several pool table manufacturers have the matching accessories you need to accommodate your table, ranging from mini-bars, spectator/game table chairs, pub tables, jukeboxes, to matching entertainment centers and arcade machines. If you’ve always craved that “Space Invaders” machine or Bubble Hockey game that you fondly remember robbing you of quarters at the pizza parlor back in ’83, now’s your perfect opportunity to relive those childhood memories.
Several multi-functional accessories are available for those of you who happen to be limited on space. Cocktail arcade tables are available that can serve to provide the perfect place to set your drink or indulge in a head-to-head game of “Ms. Pac-Man”. Also, there are plenty of two-in-one or three-in-one tables that are also available for game enthusiasts.
The two-in-one is a billiards table with a reversible top that can serve as a dining/poker table, with the three-in-one adding bumper pool in its base. The dining sides of these tables can also be inlaid with chess or backgammon boards, as well as small-sized foosball or air hockey tables. If interested in these space-savers, please keep in mind that this sort of equipment is often below regulation tables in both size and quality, so be careful before you purchase.
Oh, and since we happen to be an online billiards supplies store, we’d be foolish not to highly recommend our wide selection of incredible pool table accessories, which include everything from pool table lights, custom pool cues, floor cue racks, chalk, pool balls, and much more. All of these great products will help to both enhance your game as well as the overall billiards room experience.
Furniture & Flooring:
As mentioned above, spectator chairs can make a great addition to any game room featuring a pool table, allowing for a more authentic look and feel. For more cozy home environments, a big, comfy couch never hurts to create an inviting, warmer tone to the space.
Whatever your flooring decision might be, it has to balance the games and activities you’ve included in order to achieve the appropriate usability and feel. While wall-to-wall carpeting may sound like a good idea, it generally doesn't handle spilled drinks, food, and cue chalk as well as a hard surface floor.
Solid or laminate wood flooring is a great choice as it tends to give a room a more welcoming feel, and adds a more sophisticated look than most other flooring options. Tile flooring is also a great choice for game room flooring, and can be interchanged by color or pattern to create that custom look. However, if you feel that carpet is preferable to the look of your game room, indoor/outdoor carpeting is widely available to fit the bill, and is extremely durable and easy to clean. Basically, it’s all up to your tastes (and your budget).
Want To Make Your Game Room Even More Fun? Throw in a Bar:
Another big centerpiece item, a game room bar will demand a lot of space, but can also make for one hell of a good time. Providing adequate space for the bar, the bar stools, and of course, the bartender can take up substantial room. If you’re trying to conserve space, it’s always a safe bet to tuck the bar into a corner or noticeable wall area where it will attract lots of attention. After that, well, it’s up to you to decide what essentials to stock it with, but if you have the extra cash to spend, throwing a few draft taps, running water, a mini-fridge, and an ice maker will all help to complete the experience.
The look of your bar will actually play a big role in how the rest of the game room is decorated, especially in terms of decorations. Every bar needs a theme, and that will certainly extend into the rest of the room.
Top It All Off with Decorations:
As much as we’d rather not endorse any paintings of dogs playing poker, we’d be lying if we said it wouldn’t make a nice addition to the walls of your game room. From Light-Up Bar Signs, Sports Pennants, to Vintage Movie Posters, there’s plenty of options to transforming a simple-looking basement into the ultimate hang-out spot. Have a few odds-and-ends or bizarre antiques collecting dust in your garage or attic? Creating a series of wall-mountable shelves to display them will also create a fun vibe similar to the unique atmosphere of an Applebee’s or a TGI Fridays.
And don't forget, when it comes to decorating the wall space around your pool table, a hanging chalk rack or wall mountable cue rack is sure to make a classy and space-saving addition. Recessed wall racks are also available to save even more space, and will easily install right into any game room wall.
Bring it All Together:
Well, that about covers all the essentials to setting up a game room. Now it’s up to you to decide how to personalize it. As said, always keep your budget and the space allotment of the room in mind. After that, it up to you to choose your favorite games, the art deco, and, most importantly, the guests with whom you want to share all your hard work with (and maybe that fall-down drunk Uncle of yours shouldn’t be first on the list).
Just remember, if this is your dream room, you’re going to want to provide it with the utmost care it deserves. Please refer to our Pool Table Maintenance Guide for all the tips you need to keep your table in great shape.