Ultimately, how you treat your table’s cloth determines its lifespan. A well-maintained billiard table gives years of consistent playing, whereas a poorly kept one begins showing wear in a matter of months.
Billiards felt used a few hours a day typically offers three full years. However more or less time depends on factors like chalk, pets, drinks, lighting, and your own behind. Relating to such things, how you clean and store the table also influences its durability.
Chalk is abrasive. When it settles, it damages the felt. Unfortunately, brushing it clean sometimes worsens matters. About 50% of chalk gets absorbed/smeared during cleaning.
The alternative—vacuuming—avoids this problem but brings along new risks. When used improperly, vacuums lift and stretch the felt. This is irreversible.
Cats that walk on billiard tables might puncture the felt. Worse, they might relieve themselves on it! The dander alone can be damaging, but some animals’ nasty habits can be fatal.
Pool and beer go together socially, but not physically. Spillage happens, but stains are the least of your concerns. The dampness could change the texture of the fabric permanently. For instance, a sugary drink starches the felt. Consider applying a sealant for added protection.
The sun fades the colours of your pool table’s cloth and wood. While not too detrimental, it is a reason why some people replace their cloth. That said, the intensity of the light and its effect on the temperature can alter the stretchiness of the cloth. And that does affect lifespan.
Your pool table is not a chair—stop treating it as such. Sitting on the table can weaken its structure; you also risk transporting dust or snagging the cloth with your buckles, belts, and pins.