If you’re planning on getting some work done with your new pickup truck, one of the first choices you’ll want to make is what kind of bed liner you want to be installed. Whether you opt for the spray-on or drop-in, there are pros and cons to both.
If you think your choice is going to be as easy as spray-on vs. drop-in, though, you may find yourself quickly overwhelmed when it comes time to make the decision. Color, material, and quality also come in to play when choosing what is best for your truck.
Deciding between drop-in or spray-on liners come down really to:
- Ease of installation
- Level of bed protection from corrosion, dents and other damage
- Overall effects on your bed’s integrity
The first bed liners were drop-ins, and the form is still popular among truck owners. Drop-in liners offer versatility, enabling truck owners to swap liners between trucks. Drop-in liners can be made of hard plastic, rubber or carpet-like material. They represent the cheaper of the two options.
Drop-in liners are easy to remove, allowing you to clean your truck bed periodically. They provide the best protection against bed dents since they ride above the actual bed.
That ease of versatility also contributes to the downside of drop-in liners, however. DIYers need to be especially careful when installing them, as an improperly installed drop-in liner can move inside the bed if not properly secured, leading to a scuffed and scratched bed that is more susceptible to rust. Improper installation can also lead to water, dirt, and debris getting between the bed and the bed liner.
Even if the drop-in liner is installed correctly, installation involves drilling into the metal surface of your truck’s bed, increasing vulnerability to the effects of weather. It can also hurt your truck’s resale value.
While you can’t simply remove a spray-on bed liner, the good news is you will never have a reason to do so. Spray-on liners are just as their name implies, applied with a high-pressure sprayer by a professional.
Because they are sprayed on, these liners eliminate worry about ruining bed integrity from drilling holes to mount the liner. In fact, protection from the elements is heightened, as the coating seals any cracks and prevents water from getting into vulnerable surfaces. Spray-on liners are also much lighter than drop-ins.
Spray-on liners don’t provide all the shock-absorption that drop-in liners do, but the textured, non-skid surface is much easier to clean and repair. Truck owners also have a wider choice when it comes to colors available to accentuate their truck’s appearance.
Cleaning your spray-in bed liner is also much easier, typically cleaning up with just some water and a hose. However, once installed, the spray-in bed liner is permanent. It becomes one with the truck, and cannot be moved to another truck.
Our team at Z-One is Northwest Ohio and Southwest Michigan’s premier aftermarket bed liner pros.
We use Rhino Lining bed liners, the world leader in spray-on bed lining innovation, to protect your truck from the elements and whatever you’re hauling. Contact us to experience the Z-One difference today.