When I was growing up, we had a pool table (or billiard table) room adjacent to the den. It provided endless entertainment, never failed to impress first-time guests and was one of those game rooms that make you the most popular neighbor on the block. We had a traditional table with green felt. However, pool tables have come a long way since those days. These are some of the cool trends in pool tables.

Design changes

This pool table is made of reclaimed timber wood and a post-industrial metal frame. Image courtesy of Fusiontables.

“The first trend I’ve noticed in pool tables is a radical change in pool table design,” says Thierry Hoyaux, Sales and Marketing Manager at Fusiontables. “When I started working at Fusiontables, most billiard table retailers and importers were totally not sold on modern design and minimalistic framed pool tables,” he explains. In fact, Hoyaux says it was hard to convince them that there was a market for this trend.

But now, he sees modern pool tables everywhere. “They’re in Italy, France, the U.K. and even the U.S. and Thailand. The uptake is now better.” Hoyaux says even the most conservative branch of pool table retailer is on board. He has a theory regarding the widespread acceptance of modern pool tables, too. The home pool market needs to reach new customers. And they’re more likely to be a lot younger than current pool table owners.

Additional sizes

Pool tables are now available in smaller sizes. Image: Marje/Getty Images

Hoyaux has also noticed a change in the size of pool tables offered to homeowners. “In the past, only 8-foot and 9-foot pool tables were offered by big online pool market players,” he says. “But now, there’s an increase in 7-foot and even 6-foot models that can fit into smaller spaces.”

Exterior use tables

You don’t have to leave the pool to play pool. Image: admarkjamaica/Getty Images

“I noticed the pool tables are sometimes sold for outdoor use,” Hoyaux says. These all-weather outdoor pool tables usually have some variation of a weatherproof, UV-resistant polytech cloth. The pool table in the photo above uses Sunbrella fabric, which is available in dozens of colors ranging from red hues to gold tones.

Dining pool tables

An adjustable height dining pool table. Image courtesy of Fusiontables.

“The dining pool table concept, also called a ‘convertible pool table’ in some other languages and countries, seems to be prevalent,” Hoyaux says. “In the past, only the U.K. and U.S. were Googling these keywords.” However, he’s noticed a significant increase in searches in Italy, Spain, France and Belgium.

Customization and boldness

Another self-contained dining room pool table. Image courtesy of Fusiontables.

“I dare to believe this is a bit thanks to our influence because our tables are more visible at high-end furniture stores in the countries where we have a lot of retailers. This turns the concept into an attractive item for non-pure pool players.” Hoyaux says design fans and people who weren’t pool lovers now want to own a cool pool table — and these tables are no longer being relegated to the basement or the man cave.

Choose your favorite cloth color. Image: Kamil Jany/Getty Images

He’s also noticing a lot of new colors and finishes, including customized colors and designs. His company, Fusiontables, offers ceramic surfaces that look like a dining table, but they’re also scratch-resistant and easy to maintain.

“Ceramic table tops, glass table tops, and reclaimed wood with a vintage touch are available in combinations and styles to match today’s interior design.” So your oak wood pool table can complement those oak hardwood floors, for example. Just 10 years ago, Hoyaux says a homeowner’s interior needed to be adapted for the pool table. “Today, I think it is the pool table that needs to match the user’s existing interior design.”

There’s a pool table to match every style. Image: svet feo/Shutterstock

In addition, he says homeowners are moving beyond traditional green or blue cloth. “The fabrics are now often sold in grey, pink, purple and Petroleum Blue, due to the new target audience, which has more of a design sense,” Hoyaux explains. You can also get custom pool table covers emblazoned with the logo of your favorite sports team.

Glass tables

The Filotto glass pool table. Image courtesy of Adriano Design.

One pool table attracting a lot of attention is the Filotto glass pool table. Davide and Gabriele Adriano, brothers at Adriano Design in Torino, Italy, are the art directors for this Calma E Gesso collection of Filotto glass billiards tables.

A Filotto wood pool table with glass edges. Image courtesy of Adriano Design.

“[The glass table] is 750 kg of crystal that floats in a space filled with light reflections, and a cloth over which you can play one of the most antique and beautiful games invented by man,” they explain. “It’s the perfect pool table you would have never thought possible to create, a technological wonder with crystal glass legs and frame, stainless steel hardware and an Italian slate tabletop with luxurious Simonis wool cloth.”

Tips for choosing the right pool table

Make sure you have clearance on every side of your pool table. Image: Eric Audras/Getty Images

Pool tables come in a variety of sizes. You want to be sure your table isn’t too large for the room but, at the same time, that it doesn’t look like a kid’s pool table. Also, it’s important to leave enough space on all sides to comfortably play without the pool cues striking the walls. In addition, consider what type of — if any —furniture and other items you might want in the room, such as dart boards, game tables or a bar.  It’s best to decide this in advance. That way, you can leave enough space in the room to avoid injuring those sitting at the bar or playing cards.

Lighting is another important consideration. The World Pool-Billiard Association says a non-movable light fixture should not be lower than 65 inches above the table’s bed. And it’s best to center the lights to avoid creating dark areas on the table.