In this article, we’ll present a short analysis of the types of ping pong tables that are available and how much each type costs. Learn about the special features of each table and make an educated decision about which one will be best for you.
You’ll be setting up your table before you know it and hearing the enticing sounds of ping pong balls bouncing in no time. Here are some of the most important features to look for when you are purchasing a table tennis table.
If you are in the market for a new table tennis table, you will find that there are plenty of options available at a wide range of different prices. A decent ping pong table can cost anywhere from $100 to more than $2000 for the best tables. The playing surface is often aluminum or plastic, or a composite of those, and the table thickness can vary a great deal.
The most important thing to look for when you are considering a new table tennis table is the thickness of the top. Tops will range in thickness from half an inch to an inch. The playing surface should be at least 3/4 inches or 19 millimeters thick. The JOOLA Inside model features a 15 millimeter MDF playing surface.
This table provides a consistent bounce but it plays a little bit slower than a thicker 22 millimeter or 25 millimeter table. The Stiga Advantage features an identical 15 millimeter MDF playing surface. Generally, you will get better performance from table tennis tables that are 22 millimeters or 25 millimeters.
How to Make a Ping Pong Table Top for a Pool Table
One option is to build your own table, although the work can be a little tiring if you don’t enjoy DIY projects. A workable option is to simply push an existing table against a wall and then lay a large piece of particle board or plywood on top of the table.
As we mentioned above, make sure that the wood is thick enough to allow the ping pong ball to bounce well. Then, you can set up a table tennis return board, which is a special board that you hit the ball against if you plan to play alone. This is a good way to improve your skills, and there are many different types of return boards that are commercially available.
You can even go online to learn how to make your own return board, which could be a good idea if you are on a budget and don’t want to spend a lot of money. A real return board can cost several hundred dollars, but you can easily make your own by using cheaper materials from Home Depot or Amazon.
A few pieces of plywood, mdf, or particle board can really go a long way towards getting your project completed and allowing you to get some table tennis playback right away. Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses before diving into something you might be unable to finish.
The satisfaction that comes from finishing a DIY project can be worth the money you save. But also remember that the cost of a new ping pong table might not be much higher than it could turn out to be if you take on this DIY project. Just keep in mind that you might also need someone else to help you create your tabletop and also to help you move it back and forth. Lifting a four feet long piece of plywood can be a difficult job for a single person.
Types of Ping Pong Tables
If you don’t want to make your own table, the next option that naturally comes to mind is to explore the types of ping pong tables that are commercially available. From a manufacturing point of view, no tables are made the same and so they all tend to differ quite markedly in price. As is the case with so many other products, some manufacturers build with a budget in mind while others go all out to produce premium, state-of-the-art table tennis tables.
There are three main categories of ping pong tables: indoor ping pong tables, outdoor ping pong tables, and conversion tops. Indoor tables are for indoor places like game rooms, homes, or offices, while outdoor tables are for outdoor areas like backyard or patio environments, where the table is exposed to all types of weather conditions. Conversion tops are used on a table you already have.
Because of their constant exposure to the sun and other elements, outdoor tables are usually made with durability in mind. For example, these tables usually have a special coating on the surface to protect the table from the exposure that comes with outdoor use. Other than that, there are no significant differences between most indoor and outdoor tables.
However, there is often a slight price difference. Outdoor tables are usually more expensive than indoor tables, although the difference in price mostly depends on the quality, as well as the brand and the retailer you are purchasing the table from. Outdoor tables need to be protected from warping, and so it is not surprising that they would cost a little more than indoor ones.
Conversion tops are not exactly ping pong tables but they do offer a flexible option. If you already have a big table (like a dining room table or a pool table), you can use a conversion top as a ping pong table. We’ll look at some conversion top options a little later in the article.
But for now, here is a quick guide to some of the types of products you might want to purchase. It would interest you to know that many of these tables meet the standards and table tennis table dimensions laid out by the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation).
Indoor Table Tennis Tables
- Advantage by STIGA: This is a competition-ready full-size table. The 10-minute QuickPlay design comes 95% preassembled out of the box. You can easily roll and transport the table halves using heavy-duty lockable casters for convenient storage and setup. This table offers excellent playability with a thick tabletop with multiple roller coat finish and silk-screen striping. You can easily attach and remove the net and post set.
- Inside table by JOOLA: The JOOLA Inside Table Tennis Table is a competition-grade, regulation size indoor ping pong table. The tournament-grade regulation size 72″ ping pong net set has a convenient clamp system for quickly attaching and removing it from the table. The two halves and lockable wheels and casters make this ping pong table easy to roll and move around. It can even be used as an outdoor ping pong table on clear and sunny days.
- Eastpoint Sport 15 millimeter: This pre-assembled, tournament size folding table tennis table arrives in two boxes and includes a retractable net and post system. Two people can unpack the table, unfold it, and be ready to play. This model is 85% smaller than traditional tables, making it easy to store and transport with the attached carry handles and rolling wheels. It offers a fully laminated play surface and a powder-coated steel frame.
Outdoor Table Tennis Tables
- Stiga XTR: This durable outdoor table tennis table is specifically designed and manufactured to withstand all the elements. An aluminum composite top offers great playability with all-weather performance. The 10-minute QuickPlay design comes 95% preassembled out of the box. It easily folds into a compact storage position in seconds with self-opening legs.
- Kettler Eden: This 9-feet long table tennis table has a weatherproof melamine top that can stand any climate and offer a great ball bounce. Attach the 4-inch wide rectangular galvanized steel legs with a chrome look powder coat finish. Anchor bolts secure the table permanently. The outer edges are protected and supported by a 2-inch galvanized steel apron. The table comes with a permanent net and post system made of galvanized steel. It also has a chrome look powder-coat finish. Ideal for outdoor recreational areas such as in schools, resorts, parks, and campsites. 10-year warranty on the top and 3-year warranty on all remaining components.
- Joola NOVA DX: The two halves of this table sit on separate 4-wheel trolley systems, which makes rollaway transportation and storage extremely easy. It comes with a matching weather-resistant net set that features a classic screw design and net tensioning system. The table has a weather-resistant 6-millimeter aluminum-plastic composite surface.
You’ll find that all of these tables are readily available online through websites like Amazon, but many of them can also be purchased through Walmart or other large retailers. This can be important if you would like to actually touch the table and get a feel for how large and heavy it is. If you don’t really like any of the particular models we mentioned, there are plenty of other types that you can choose from too.
It is a good idea to check out each of the models to see which one gets the top reviews in terms of what you are looking for (such as being perfect for small spaces), and then you can place an order for that model. Many of these models will come with a year warranty or more, so you can enjoy peace of mind with your purchase, even when it is an outdoor table.
More About Conversion Tops
You might already have a large pool table and you might be wondering if you can use it for ping pong as well. If you know how to use a few tools and you already have a pool table or billiards table that is not being used very often, you could easily turn it into a medium-size table tennis table. This could also be an option if you have a large dining room table.
A converted table like we are discussing here will not be a standard ping pong table that follows ITTF dimensions, but it will be a mini-sized table that you can use for fun. With so many options available in the market, building a DIY ping pong table can be tricky.
There are some of the best table tennis conversion tops and ping pong table conversion tops available in the market that could be a whole lot cheaper. You’ll probably find that these types of kits can also be very handy ways to convert your billiard table, pool table, or dining room table.
Again, here is a quick guide to some of the types of products you might want to purchase. It would interest you to know that many of these conversion tops meet the standards for this category as laid out by the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation).
- Martin Kilpatrick: A good option is the range of Martin Kilpatrick Conversion Table Tennis Tops. These are easy to install and they come in grey, blue, and green. Unlike other conversion tops, the Martin Kilpatrick range offers thick pieces of wood that provide excellent ball bounces. These conversion tops offer a lot of durability that you might not always find with other kits.
- JOOLA Conversion Top: The Joola tetra foldable indoor conversion top with foam backing could be an ideal option for you. A set like this one comes with two separate halves and a net set and net posts for quick and easy construction. The conversion top is also easy to store away when you are not using it.
- Viper Portable Top: This portable trifold table with a Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) Core assembles very quickly, so you can be playing right away. Simply set it up on a traditional dining room table, a kitchen island, or a pool table. The kit includes a net and post set, two paddles, two table tennis balls, and a convenient carrying case with a side pocket.
How Much Should You Spend On A Ping Pong Table?
So now that you know more about the types of tables available, you can decide whether it is better to build your own table, get an indoor or outdoor model, or to buy a conversion top to place over an existing table. We’ll consider indoor and outdoor tables as a baseline for the kind of budget you might be looking at.
The average price range of a ping pong table will be along the lines of $150 to $400 for indoor tables, about $400 to $700 for outdoor tables, about $200 to $300 for conversion tops, and more than $1,000 for luxurious, high-end tables. Since there is no set price for a ping pong table, how much you should spend depends on your budget, your taste, and what function you want your table to have in your home.
If you want a fancy table whose design can be the focus of attention, you may be interested in a high-quality table like a Killerspin Revolution or Cornilleau 510M. However, if you just want a regular midsize table for fun play and minor competitions, you can get a pretty solid model for as little as $200 or so. These types of models are often portable tables, which can really be a space saver if your living environment tends to be a little cramped.
If you really are an aspiring table tennis player, it can be a very exciting time to get the best ping pong table you can find. It can add a lot of fun to your gatherings with friends and family. It is a great way to bond with a group of kids too. Why not make a day of it and go and browse through some of the options at your local sports store? You’ll get a feel for the type of table you want and you can also get the whole family to have a say in the purchase decision.