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A truck bed liner is a protective layer that can be applied over the inside of your truck bed. This is typically made from a polyurethane or a different rubber-type product and it’s designed to prevent rust, and corrosion from damaging your truck bed as well protecting it from damage when you are hauling things with your truck.
When you are wanting to get a truck bed liner one of the most common questions that people have is in regards to how waterproof the bedliner is. Unfortunately how waterproof your truck bed liner is will depend on the type of bedliner that you get for your truck.
A spray on bedliner will be entirely waterproof as the bed will be covered entirely by the material. If you are getting a drop in bed liner it will typically be waterproof until the shell is punctured and then will no longer be waterproof.
That is one reason why spray on bed liners are much more popular as not only are they incredibly durable but they help to protect your truck bed from all types of damage including water or corrosion much better than the older style drop in bed liners did.
Although a spray in bed liner will be waterproof that doesn’t mean that you should submerge your truck in water! There are still plenty of components on the underside of your bed that should not be submerged for any length of time at all.
Why Do You Need A Truck Bed Liner?
If you are buying a new or used truck and some models have the bed liner and others do not, you might be wondering why you would even need to get a bed liner for your truck in the first place. Afterall, truck beds are built to be incredibly durable so why do you need another layer on top of that?
You might want to get a bed liner for a few reasons:
To prevent moisture and corrosion
This is one of the most common reasons that people will get a bed liner for their truck. A truck is a pricey investment so anyone who buys one will want to do everything in their power to help it hold as much value as possible and also to make it last as long as possible.
Putting a bed liner in your truck will protect the bed from any moisture or corrosion that could damage it over time.
To keep it looking nice
Truck beds are often the first thing on a truck to start to show damage as that is where all of the cargo goes and so the paint will start to scratch off or become damaged there first.
By adding a bed liner (especially a spray on one) any damage is barely noticeable which in turn helps keep your truck looking good for a lot longer.
Many people will even add a spray on bedliner after a few years of use which allows the owner to hide any damage in the truck bed under a layer of spray on bed liner.
To make the bed less slippery
A truck bed that does not have a bed liner on it yet will be quite slippery. This can easily become an issue during the wintertime or whenever it rains as maneuvering things in the truck bed or even climbing up in it can be difficult.
By adding a bed liner you will help eliminate a good portion of that slipperiness which in turn will keep you and anything in your truck bed safer and less likely to slide around or out!
How Long Will A Truck Bed Liner Last?
A typical spray on bed liner will last the life of your truck, however when exposed to water or chemicals for long periods of time it may start to show signs of corrosion/ degradation. If this happens just sand off the bad parts and apply a fresh layer (another benefit of spray on bed liners vs the cheaper drop in kind).
If you have the cheaper drop in type of truck bed liner it will last until you damage it or until the bed underneath begins to rust and it pulls free. That will typically be 10 or more years in most locations.
How Much Do Truck Bed Liners Cost
Truck bed liners can cost anywhere from $100 all the way up to $2,500+ for full lamination and paint-matched styling. The big difference in cost is because of the different types of bed liners and different options that you can choose.
The cheaper bed liner will be one that is designed just for the bottom part of your bed. They won’t protect your entire truck bed but are a much cheaper alternative than a full spray on or drop in bed.
A drop in truck bed liner will be the next cheapest option and they will typically come in at a few hundred dollars depending on which brand you choose and which truck that you own.
The third (and most popular) option is the spray on bed liner. You can do this process yourself by purchasing a kit, or you can pay a professional to do the job for you. Hiring someone to do it will typically cost $500-$1,000 while the DIY option will be considerably cheaper (but you have to do all of the labor).
The last option (and the most expensive one) is not only getting a spray on bed liner but getting one that is color matched to your truck itself. The normal spray on bed liner will be black to show as little dirt and wear as possible but if you don’t have a balck truck then it obviously won’t match your truck color.
You can get a spray on bed liner done that matches the color of your truck however this is typically a much more involved process and will run you into the thousands of dollars to get it done.
How To Install A Truck Bed Liner
Applying an aftermarket truck bed liner is really no different than applying a standard paint job to your house, fence, etc. You have to be extremely careful when applying the spray on bed liner to ensure that it doesn’t get on any of the paint outside of your truck bed while also making sure to put it on evenly throughout the bed.
To install a drop in truck bed liner you simply have to attach it to your truck bed (typically with screws or adhesive)
Although the drop in bed liner is easier to install for most people, the spray on liner will last a lot longer so it is a better choice for most people.
Is A Spray On Bed Liner Or Drop In Bed Liner Better?
Although a drop in bed liner will be cheaper to install and also cheaper to purchase originally (in most cases) I personally prefer the spray on bed liner.
I feel that it protects the truck bed a lot better than the drop in/removable liner style and it also will last a lot longer under similar circumstances.
However, there are many different ways that a spray on bed liner can cost you more and be more of a hassle if you do it yourself or aren’t careful.
1) it is harder to apply a spray on bed liner properly and it dries quickly which means if you don’t do it right the first time you can end up with a giant mess on your hands.
2) With a spray on bed liner you will need a higher quality and more expensive product to ensure that it works properly. With a drop in bed liner they will all work pretty similarly so you don’t have to spring for the more expensive option.
3) The spray on bed liner will require the entire truck bed to be lined. If you are using a drop in liner you can easily just do the bottom and leave the sides as is if you choose. With a spray on bed liner you have to do all or nothing.
Does A Spray On Bed Liner Void The Truck Warranty?
If you have decided that a spray on bed liner is what you want to get on your truck you might be wondering if that will void your truck’s warranty or cause other issues with the manufacturer.
Putting a spray on bed liner onto your truck bed should not void the warranty at all except in regards to any damage to the truck bed. So if you have issues with the bed rusting out prematurely and it would normally be covered under warranty it is unlikely they will cover it after you spray a bed liner on.
However, any spray bed liner that is put on properly will do far more to protect your truck bed from the elements rather than harming it so this shouldn’t be an issue.
Doing things to your vehicle like spraying on a bed liner or even changing the paint should not affect the warranty of the motor or other parts at all.
A spray on bed liner will protect the bed from dents and scratches but it doesn’t make it indestructible, so you shouldn’t take a sledgehammer to your new truck bed, but it also shouldn’t void the warranty of the rest of the truck even if you do the bed liner yourself.
Does A Spray On Bed Liner Prevent Rust?
Because a spray on bed liner covers the entire truck bed it will help to prevent rust in that area assuming that it was put on the truck correctly and has not been damaged. However, if a chunk of the bed liner has been damaged or gouged it could cause water to sit in that specific area causing it to rust more.
So, as long as you keep your bed liner in good shape then it will help with preventing rust on the truck bed (at least from the topside). Your truck bed could still rust out from the underside but being exposed to the elements on one side instead of two should help prevent rust and rust holes for considerably longer.
Can You Spray Bed Liner Directly On Another Bed Liner?
If you have holes, cracks, etc. on your current bedliner you might be wondering if it’s possible to fix that by simply spraying a new layer of bed liner on top. The answer is that yes, you definitely can do that as long as the bed liner that you are spraying on top is clean and free of debris.
As long as it’s clean and debris free then the only thing you have to make sure of when spraying a new layer is that it is all entirely level after spraying the new stuff and not too shallow or deep in areas that were damaged.
Does Bed Liner Waterproof Wood?
If you have wood in your truck bed or are simply wanting to use some extra bedliner on wood then you might be wondering if it will waterproof it or not.
Although a spray on bed liner will work wonders to protect the wood it will not make it waterproof in most cases as you will often have to put nails or screws into the wood thereby removing any waterproof qualities that the bed liner gave it.
If you just sprayed bed liner onto a single piece of wood and submerged it then it would probably protect it quite well from the water. However, in real world circumstances spray on bed liner isn’t a good choice to try and waterproof wood.