A truck bed liner is an added layer of protection that coats the truck bed.
They come in the form of a spray, paint rolled or a solid liner made with heavy-duty rubber or plastic.
The main purpose of a truck bed liner is to protect the bed from UV rays, corrosion, weather and scratches.
When combined with a truck bed tonneau cover your box will have the best defense.
In This Article
Buying a pickup truck is a big investment.
It doesn’t matter whether it’s a work truck or your daily driver everybody wants to keep their truck protected.
Installing a truck bed liner is one of the things necessary to keep your truck as safe as possible.
There are many benefits that bed liners provide:
Truck Bed Protection – A truck bed liner will protect the bed from scratches, dents, rust, corrosion, UV rays and extreme weather.
Improve Ride Comfort – Truck bed liners reduce the number of vibrations and help to deaden sound. This makes for a much smoother and quieter ride.
Cargo Protection – Bed liners add traction to the truck bed. Helping hold whatever you’re hauling on the road in place. This will prevent any dents, scratches and the gear sliding around in the bed.
Enhanced Appearance – The addition of a bed liner to a pickup truck makes for a cleaner, more professional appearance.
When shopping for a truck bed liner you’ll realize that there is more than one style.
Truck bed liners are available in three types: Spray-On, Drop-In and Bed Mats. Each style of bed liner provides its own advantages and disadvantages.
Spray-on and roll-on liners are permanent protection to your truck bed.
They block the metal from damage, water and/or dirt. Offering a a very high level of protection to your truck bed. But, they are among the most expensive types.
Installation of spray-on bed liners is best left to an auto-body professional. That’s because it’s a two-process job that takes a lot sanding then an even spray or roll-on application.
Spray-On Liners are available as polyurethane or polyurea.
- Polyurethane leaves behind a texturized, rubber liner finish.
- Polyurea leaves a dryer, harder glossy finish.
Drop-in truck bed liners are a cheaper and easier to install option than spray-on liners.
They are custom-designed, form-fitted plastic sheets that slide into the truck bed. Then, they fasten with metal bolts that keep it secure, stopping overtime.
Truck bed liners have two styles.
- A bed liner that covers the truck beds rails
- A bed liner that wraps underneath.
They offer good protection to the truck bed but, the plastic tends to wear down over time. Also, they allow some space for water to get into which may cause rust along the way.
The great thing about plastic drop-in bed liners is that they aren’t very expensive and easy to replace.
A great choice for truck enthusiasts looking to add some truck bed protection. But, without breaking the bank or complicated installation.
Truck bed mats are big rubber, wood or synthetic platforms that cover the bed.
They can get installed and removed whenever you’d like and are available at an affordable price. But, the downside to a truck bed mat is that it only covers the floor of your truck bed.
When looking for a truck bed liner, there are some important things to consider.
You need a truck bed liner that fits the protection level needed, ease of installation and the condition of your truck bed.
The first thing to consider when buying a truck bed liner is what your primary use for the truck is.
Spray-On Truck Bed Liners – Offer the most complete protection possible. They prevent rusting and long-term weather damage.
Drop-In Bed Liners – Offer the most traction available in a bed liner. They stop objects from sliding around and are a cheap, easy to replace option.
Truck Bed Mats – Protect the truck bed floor from scratches and most weather damage. They are a good option for truck enthusiasts that use their bed to transport lumber, etc.
Next to consider is the installation process. Can you do it yourself with ease from the comfort of your home?
Or, do you need a professional auto body shop to install the bed liner for you?
Spray-On Bed Liners – These need a lengthy, very hands-on installation process.
The truck bed needs a lengthy preparation involving rough sanding. Then, after it’s cleaned up the roll or spray-on liner gets applied.
It can be tricky to spray or roll-on leaving it best to a professional if you’re not very handy.
Drop-In Bed Liners – These have a very simple and quick installation process. They slide into the truck bed then get fastened with bolts.
Truck Bed Mats – These heavy-duty rubber mats have an average weight between 15 – 30 lbs.
They are super easy to add or remove to your truck bed as you’d like.
Depending on what you use your truck bed for the most will determine the texture that’s best for you.
Rigid/Rough Textured Bed Liner – These are best for truck owners who need a strong grip to stop cargo from moving.
Smooth/Slick Textured Bed Liner – These are best for truck owners who slide heavy objects into the truck bed. They need extra securing using ratchets or tie-downs.
Depending on the condition of your truck bed it might be in your best interest to avoid spray-on liners.
If the bed of your truck has heavy corrosion, rust and is beat up. It will need a lot of expensive prep work to install one the correct way.
The Herculiner Brush-On Bed Liner is a fantastic liner that looks great when installed.
It is very easy to work with and works on metal, concrete, wood, fiberglass, PVC and asphalt.
Made from polyurethane with rubber granules inside. It gives a tough, anti-skid protective coating that won’t peel or flake. Also, resistant to gasoline, oils and other solvents with a glossy finish.
Herculiner HCL1B8 comes in a 1-gallon paint can with two brushes and rollers. It includes enough product for two very strong coatings on a 6.5-foot truck bed.
This roll-on liner applies 5 times thicker than other liners offering higher protection.
The Dupli-Color Bak Bed Armor kit is a water-based polyurethane bed liner. It’s formulated with Dupont Kevlar for strength and solvent resistance.
Bed Armor provides a durable, impact-resistant rubberized finish that won’t chip, scratch or peel.
Dupli-Color bed liner is odor-less, not giving off harsh fumes making it easier to install. Plus, it only takes one coating for complete protection so there’s extra to set aside in case the need for a touch up.
It resists gasoline, oil and other automotive chemicals. But, Bed Armor is super simple to clean using soap and water.
The Dupli-Color Bed Armor Kit includes everything for a DIY at home installation.
- 1-Gallon of Water-Based Polyurethane Bed Liner
- Paint Brush
- Roller Brush
- Paint Tray
Or, if you prefer you can buy it as an aerosol spray-on bed liner.
This bed liner is a rug that covers your truck that has the look and feels the exact same as a carpet.
But, it’s still very tough providing great protection to the truck bed. Stopping things like dents, scratches, skids, UV-resistant and it’s anti-skid.
When the job’s done and it’s back to normal conditions. It’s very easy to clean using water and dries in around 20 minutes.
Don’t worry about water damage, even though the BedRug is a carpet for the box of your truck. It’s made from 100% polypropylene which is the same material found in life-jackets.
This material allows water to run off and drain through the holes in the bed. Also, this stops any potential mildew and mold issues either.
This liner has a high level of protection that is also padded, great for working on your knees in the truck bed.
Making the BedRug Truck Bed Liner a great protection option for any truck enthusiast.
It’s one of the thickest mats available made from a durable polyethylene rubber. The DualLiner is a perfect fit to the contour of your truck.
The DualLiner Bed Liner offers amazing protection to your truck cargo. Also, it’s non-skid so it won’t slide around.
It’s thicker and easier to install than a spray-on truck bed liner. Yet, it still provides water protection, unlike other drop-in bed liners.
Drop-in bed liners are prone to water damage and corrosion. So, DualLiner had the goal of stopping that problem.
During the design process of the DualLiner Box Liner. The company decided to include special cleats to the bottom.
These cleats stop the box liner from sitting flat against the truck bed. This allows for water to drain out the factory drain holes.
U-Pol Raptor bed liner adds a unique twist to the standard of black bed liners.
The Raptor’s high-quality polyurethane formula is tintable. This gives you the opportunity to change the colour of the bed liner.
It’s a two-component system requiring you to mix the included hardener with the bed liner base.
It’s very quick to dry compared to other spray-on bed liners, drying in an hour’s time.
Raptor Liner provides great scratch-resistance, corrosion-resistance, UV ray protection and deadens sounds. But, if applied too thick it is prone to chipping.
This kit has everything included for the application of the bed liner. Except, the air compressor and sandpaper for preparation.
- 4 750ml Bottles of Tintable Bed Liner Base
- Spray Gun Applicator
- 1 Liter of Hardener
- Detailed Instruction Manual
Truck bed liners are very easy to maintain from the comfort of your own home.
To clean your bed liner spray it using soapy water, some scrubbing is sometimes needed.
No, truck bed liners are not a necessary addition to your pickup. But, they are great for adding protection to your truck bed.
They keep your truck bed in excellent condition increasing longevity.
The installation of a pickup truck bed liner depends on the style that you’re trying to install.
Installing a Drop-In Pickup Truck Bed Liner
- Buy the right size drop-in bed liner that fits your truck box.
- Clean out your truck bed
- Slide/drop the bed liner into the correct position
- Fasten the bed liner with bolts following the included user’s manual. Some may snap into place
Installing a Spray-On/Roll-On Truck Bed Liner
- Wash the truck bed using a car soap free of wax and protectants
- After dry, scuff the entire bed surface using 36 grit sandpaper
- Wipe the truck bed completely clean from dust and debris
- Mask off areas you don’t wish to spray using painter’s tape
- Connect the spray gun to the air compressor and test it on cardboard. Adjusting the air pressure and spray pattern til desired
- Spray thin coats from 18-inches away using long sweeps
- Repeat coats every 10 minutes until desired thickness
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