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Norwalk Daily Voice serves Norwalk & Rowayton

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Give Pool Tables Space

Before you buy a pool table for your rec room, make sure you have enough room to play. Seriously.

Pool tables come in three sizes, seven, eight and nine feet long. Allow at least six feet of space on each side of the table to accommodate cue strokes. And don't forget extra space for the cue rack, which should be installed on a wall.

The frame and legs of a pool table are traditionally made of wood and come in a wide range of styles, from ornate baroque to unadorned modern. The pockets in which the balls fall can be plastic or rubber, usually found on pool hall tables, or leather, the preference for home pool tables.

A table weighs about a ton, so make sure you know exactly where you want it set up when it's delivered. Most of the weight is in the felt-covered slate playing surface. You should always have a professional install a pool table - if the slate isn't totally level or the felt stretched properly, you'll have a tough time playing.

While green is the traditional color for the playing surface, felt is available in many differet colors, so you can match your table to your decor if you wish.

Beware of inexpensive, mass-produced tables, which often have wood instead of slate beneath the felt. A reputable dealer, such as Patio.com , which has stores in Greenwich, Stamford and Westport, will guarantee pool tables and offer service, such as re-leveling the slate or repair of the felt.

Pottery Barn has just added a pool table to their catalog. Made of solid pine with a slate bed, the eight-foot table retails for $4,999, which includes professional installation.

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