Cost of Spray on vs Drop in Bedliners

What is the True Cost of Spray on Truck Bed Liners vs Drop in Bedliners?

 

How Much Does a Spray On Truck Bed Liner Really Cost?

If you own a truck, you probably have a special attachment to it, and want to ensure it will be working for you for a long time to come. Protect your truck from the damage which can happen anytime, whether hauling heavy loads, or just an appliance which suddenly shifts by adding a quality bed liner to the basic metal that came with your truck. You must have proper bed liner to keep your truck bed safe. So, save it with the most advanced and efficient bed liners available today.

There are two primary types of bed liners. One is drop-in liners, and the other is spray-in truck bed liners. Some of the highlights of both are featured here in this article. Review the information provided here to help you make the most informed decision regarding your valued vehicle.

Spray on truck bed liners at a glance

This bed liner is known as  the best and longest lasting permanent solution for covering up the area as it is created by spraying the protective coating directly onto the bed. Spray on truck bed liners do not allow any water or dirt to come between the bedliner and your truck bed. They also decrease the risk of any other damaging items such as loose metal (screws, bolts, etc.) to get trapped between the truck bed and the liner itself where additional damage can occur.

Unlike the drop in liners, these liners can’t break apart or fall out. These liners can be made of epoxy, polyurethane elastomer, or polyurea hybrids (the latter being preferred for durability and performance). As long your truck’s initial surface preparation properly performed, you will find this type of truck bed liner to outlast even the best quality drop in truck bed liner.

Benefits of Spray on bedliners 

  • They protect your truck bed from the scratches, rusting, and dents.
  • They prevent sliding or shifting of loads which are often the source of significant damage.
  • Quality spray in bedliners decrease the chances of bubbles, shifting, or cracking which can often occur when using roll on truck bed liners commonly found on the market.
  • Spray on truck bed liners are always custom fitted to your truck since it is directly applied versus “a close fit” of a drop in bedliner. It always fits your specific truck bed perfectly and you don’t need to adjust or compromise with less.
  • It’s relatively quick and easy to install with some basic preparation, advice, and guidance. Always be sure that you have real “live” support available to answer questions should they arise.

Spray on Truck Bed Liner Cost

The spray on truck bedliner cost can vary greatly from region to region with cost averages from $490 – $680. The prices in larger northeastern metropolitan areas are often higher than rural “truck country” areas where competition is higher. The applicator is generally in charge of the price for any given area.  When selecting a direct applicator, it is important to clearly understand what preparation work he will be doing and how thick the finished product will be. There are numerous nationwide brand names for professionally applied truck bed liners. See a recent article from Spray Lining and Coatings for Spray On Bedliner Franchise Reviews to learn more about the industry leaders.

A growing trend is to apply your truck bed liner with a DIY kit readily available through online retail outlets or in store. When selecting a truck bed liner DIY kit, it is important to understand the type of material being applied, single stage or plural component properties, and the thickness of finished product for a given area of coverage. Always ensure your truck bed will be protected with sufficient thickness to ensure lasting quality and real truck bed protection. Recommended thickness is a minimum of 1/16th inch (63 mils) on the lower bed surface and approximately half that on the sides. Professional grade truck bed liner is applied at twice that amount (1/8th inch on lower surface).

DIY truck bed liners can appear to be difficult to accurately price since some “kits” are advertised as low as $29 (Rust-Oleum 1 quart roll on bedliner). Many of these “kits” are misleading since they do not provide enough material to even cover (let alone provide proper thickness to protect) you truck bed. In an effort to help you make an informed decision and compare DIY truck bed liners, Spray Lining and Coatings did the basic research for you. You can read the results and compare for yourself with our Top 18 DIY Spray on Truck Bedliner Kits of 2018 article.

 

How Much Does a Drop in Truck Bed Liner Cost?

Drop in bedliners can often cost less than a professionally applied spray on truck bed liner. With prices for some advertised less than $200 (plus significant shipping surcharges), they can be a viable option for truck owners. Prices can however run over $600 for top quality drop in truck bed liners. Some of the things to consider when selecting a drop in bedliner are:

  • Does it fit properly? Drop in bedliners NEVER fit as accurately as a spray on bedliner. Make sure your purchase at least claims to be an “exact fit” for your specific model and year truck. Close really isn’t good enough.
  • Remember… dirt, water, debris, corrosives, etc. will always get under your drop in bed liner with time. If your current bed has scratches, dents, deteriorating paint, you can often find that the bedliner will trap these elements and cause your truck bed to rust out under the liner unaware until it is too late to fix.
  • Truck beds which are in excellent shape (no rust, scratches, dents) will find that after several years of ANY drop in bedliner installation, the paint is worn in spots. The vibration of even the best fitting drop in will cause paint abrasion, so to restore your truck to “pristine” condition will require a repaint of the inside at a minimum.
  • Does the drop in bedliner have a proven record of holding up under normal or heavy use? If your drop in cracks or breaks due to use or weather conditions, it generally cannot be repaired (causing the need to purchase a new one). Spray on truck bed liners can generally be repaired with a reapplication in the affected areas.
  • Are you carrying items which tend to slip or shift? Most drop ins are notoriously known to be more slippery that a quality spray on bedliner. Even if the bedliner protects your truck bed, the shifting load can cause you to momentarily loose control of your vehicle.
  • Is the drop in impermeable to water or liquids? Some popular bedliners which are slip proof are actually nothing more than a rug. In addition to the poor edge fit, water penetrates the material and simply traps water and contaminants where they are in contact with your truck bed at all times.

When determining “true” cost of any bedliner… whether professionally applied spray on, DIY spray on truck bed liners, or drop in truck bed liners, be sure to always consider all the aspects which affect your truck in particular. As with any purchase, there are usually things to consider which are not obvious at the start.

Additional Tips – Essential factors when choosing a bedliner for your truck

1) The Reviews of your selected bedliner

Always take a look at reviews for different bedliners as such feedback will help you to identify the possibilities. Pay attention to what others are saying. The negative reviews may not be applicable to your planned use, but learn from them to avoid repeating the mistakes of others.

2) Its ease of use

Some of the bedliners can be applied on your own. It is a relatively simple DIY activity which is easy if you know the steps of installation. Know about the product how user-friendly it is! Get in touch with the manufacturer and see if they have “real” and knowledgeable support available to answer any questions. Make sure you are not going to be alone in your DIY bedliner installation.

3) Its durability

Any truck bed liner must stay on the surface of the truck for an extended period of time. The bedliner must be able to hold up for many years to come. Thickness always matters, so be sure your truck bed is thick enough to hold up to the uses you plan.

4) Its color compatibility

Never forget to consider your truck’s color. It is important NOT to mismatch the bed liner with a color which does not compliment your truck. Black or grey are always a safe choice, but some truck bed liners are available in custom colors. Select one which is appropriate for your truck or choose a DIY kit which can be exact match for your truck paint code. Also, keep in mind that color can also change depending on the way of installation. Over-application darkens the actual shade, so again… talk to direct support folks.

5) How much liner you need (quantity, etc.)

Avoid buying much more than your need, but ALWAYS buy enough for proper protection. Measure your truck bed accurately or consult with the manufacturer to get true actual square footage. It will save a lot of money to be realistic and accurate when purchasing any DIY truck bed liner kit!

2 Comments

  • Sammy Baker says:

    I’m researching 1 vs 2 part bedliners online. Is herculiner stronger than yours or other 2 part polyurea? why does Herculiner state “IMPORTANT: This kit contains 1 gal (3.8 L) of HERCULINER, which is sufficient to cover one 6 ft (1.8 m) truck bed. 8 ft (2.4 m) truck beds will require an additional quart (0.9 L) of HERCULINER.” How can that be? Its 1 part but according to its spec it has VOC & Isocyanate – That’s that hazardous stuff in HP polyurea. Their specs seem impossible. I’m not a chemist but I thought that isocyanate and high voc is in the high pressure systems like Line-X same as SLC’s duplicate Polyurea or Rhino’s Hard Line HP stuff.
    ACCORDING TO an SLC Coverage Calculator http://spray-lining.net/bedliner-calculator/ a small truck bed, 60 square feet with 1 gallon is under 26 mils thick with waste. I do prep / tape and bedliner applicator in a body shop so I know 63 mils = 1/6 inch, that’s thin for bedliner. 125 mils is best on flat parts, tail gate and fender wells, we do 63 on walls / verticals. If under 26 mils thick with a 1 part liner can be as strong as a 2 part its worth the $80/ gallon they want. Accordingly the SLC 1 bed kit = $119 with frt = 2.3 gal = $52 / gallon (I have spray guns). So yours is less $ with more qty but is that much needed for 1 small bed or can it be thinner?

    • SL&C Operations says:

      Thank you, Sammy. Is under 27 mils thick in service as truck bed liner be strong; especially of a single stage polyurethane? Nope! If you googled “Compare all DIY Bedliners” you’ll find an honest report: https://store.sprayliningandcoatings.com/comparisons/diy-spray-truck-bed-liner-comparison/ . Herculiner is in there. Facts are that maximum ASTM tensile strength of “any” 1 part polyurethane is 612 psi. You inspired me to research that stuff. Most of Herculiner’s specs are false. Not only is that untrue but isocyanate used in it is 100% carcinogenic with serious VOC also. Herculiner specs actually read, “Do not use gasoline or other highly volatile fluids for cleaning. Keep out of reach of children. This product contains polyurethane and 30% xylene” … That means Herculiner readily produces off gassing which means flammable and toxic concentrations at room temperature. According to its own specs Herculiner’s flashpoint = 81º F… That’s literally flammable not just combustible or volatile. Why it takes over 2 hours to cure dry also is illogical. Not bad for stuff you can get in Walmart, huh? That will hopefully clarify the printed garbage of any 1 part or even all 2 part bedliners claiming to be “professional grade”. ASTM with The SL Family of Coatings, Polyureas & Hybrids = 1,468 to 6233 psi (soft to hard); depends how you mix it. Ben Dexter, Zone 3 SLC Distributor, (now doing some Tech Support).

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