This is one of the most important questions to ask about slate. The Billiard Congress of America (BCA) requires that the slate on tournament tables be 1″ thick and three pieces.
3/4″ slate, when in the 3 pc. configuration, is generally used to give the convenience of leveling and handling while keeping the cost of the table as low as possible. This slate is usually, but not always, used on less expensive tables.
7/8″ slate is often used as a substitute for true 1″ slate. It comes only in three pieces and it is hard for the untrained eye to tell the difference between 7/8″ and 1″. A table with this slate should be a little less expensive than a table with 1″ slate. This can also be a good indicator that a manufacturer is trying to save money on the construction of the table.
1″ thick slate is the only slate approved by the BCA for tournament use. It comes only in 3 pieces. It will provide the truest and most accurate play of any of the three slate thicknesses . It is the very best slate, as it is the only slate guaranteed by the slate mines not to warp. Although it is only slightly more expensive than 7/8″, it is 12.5% heavier in total weight. It is important to note that the weight of the table will have direct impact on how true a ball rolls and rebounds.
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