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One of the most often asked questions by shoppers looking to outfit their truck with a bed liner is whether to choose a drop-in or spray-in liner. While both types of liners offer protection for your truck bed, some critical differences between the two may influence your decision. After researching customer comments and reviews, here is our unbiased take on the drop-in vs. spray-in bed liner debate.

What is a spray-in bed liner?

For those who might be unaware, a spray-in bed liner is, as the name suggests, a truck bed liner sprayed directly onto the truck’s bed. Basically, it is a thick painted-on coating made of 100% polyurea, 100% polyurethane, or a hybrid of both. However, the specific makeup of the applied material may vary between organizations and even similar franchises depending on the location. An installer typically conducts the application of a spray-in bed liner using a spray gun.

What is a drop-in bed liner?

On the other hand, a drop-in bed liner is a prefabricated liner that gets “dropped in” or placed into the truck bed. Drop-in liners are almost exclusively made from thermoplastic olefin (TPO), a rubbery plastic that can be molded and quickly acclimates to temperature changes. Unlike spray-in liners, drop-ins are not applied directly to the truck bed. Instead, they exist as separate entities that merely rest in the bed.

What are the benefits of spray-in bed liners?

A spray-in bed liner is a worthy investment that gives you numerous benefits upon installation on your truck’s bed. For starters, a spray-in bed liner provides waterproofing and protection of your truck’s bed from the elements and other potential sources of damage like dents, scratches, and rust. Other benefits include:

  1. Corrosion and rust protection. A high-quality spray-on bed liner contains heavy materials that practically create an airtight bond with your truck’s bed, preventing water and other liquids from seeping in and coming into contact with bare metal. Therefore, by creating a barrier between your truck bed and water, a spray-in liner reduces the risk of corrosion and rust.
  2. Increases your vehicle’s value. A spray-in bed liner will keep your truck’s bed looking new and increase its resale value by ensuring it retains a clean and refined finish without chips and scrapes.
  3. UV protection. As a truck owner, you know that UV rays can cause a fair amount of damage to the paint job, including cracks and general fading, primarily if you reside in an area with high temperatures and intense sunlight. A spray-in liner, however, contains UV inhibitors that help protect the paint job and keep your truck’s bed looking new for longer.
  4. Prevent slippage. The last thing you want while on the road is for your load to slide around in your truck’s bed and possibly fall off, incurring damage. Luckily, a spray-in bed liner creates an efficient non-slip surface that ensures your cargo remains in place while on transit.
  5. Easy to maintain. In addition to convenience, maintaining a spray-in bed liner is relatively easy as all you need to do is hose it down with water and mild soap when necessary.

What is the process of getting a spray-in bed liner?

Getting a spray-in bed liner is not as complicated as you might think. Here is a brief step-by-step guide to the process:

  1. The first step is to strip bare the truck’s bed, to the bare metal or primer, by grinding or sanding.
  2. Cleaning the plain stripped surface to remove debris
  3. Chemical cleaning with a surface prep solution
  4. Masking surfaces not intend to cover with the spray-in bed liner.
  5. Commencing the application process in a well-ventilated area.

Why choose a spray-in bed liner over a drop-in bed liner?

Now that we have looked at the key features and benefits of spray-in bed liners, it is time to take a closer look at why you should choose a spray-in liner over a drop-in. As seen in the benefits spray-in liners outperform drop-in drops in various categories. Here are a few key reasons:

  1. Better protection. A spray-in bed liner offers better protection than a drop-in as it is applied directly to the truck’s bed and bonds with the metal to create an impenetrable barrier.
  2. Durability. A spray-in bed liner is also more durable than a drop-in as it does not suffer from fitting issues that may result in damage.
  3. Better value for money. In the long run, a spray-in bed liner is a better investment as it offers better protection and durability than a drop-in, making it worth the slightly higher initial cost.
  4. Aesthetically pleasing. Aesthetics is another crucial factor when choosing between a spray-in and drop-in bed liner. While both options protect your truck’s bed, a spray-in liner provides a neater finish that looks more refined.

The bottom line

A spray-in bed liner is a worthy investment that offers numerous benefits, chief among them being increased protection for your truck’s bed, durability, and aesthetic appeal. With such benefits, spray-in bed liners are better suited for your truck’s bed than drop-in liners.

At Custom Linings, we specialize in installing high-quality spray-in bed liners. We use state-of-the-art equipment and only the best products on the market to give your truck the protection it deserves. Contact us today for a free quote and get answers to all your questions.