Pickup Truck Bedliners vs Bed Rugs

Pickup truck owners love to accessorize their trucks. If you own a truck and live in Texas, you have many choices available, including Houston truck bedliners, truck lift kits, performance equipment and custom wheels. In this article, you will learn more about bed liners and bed rugs so that you can choose protection for your truck bed that fits your needs and preferences.

Houston Truck Accessories: Bed Liners and Rugs

The three basic types of truck bed protection that provide full coverage for the box’s bulkhead, sides, and floor are drop-in liners, liquid liner materials that are sprayed or rolled into place, and bed rugs. Each of these types of pickup truck protection has distinct features that set them apart from each other.

Sprayed Bedliners

Sprayed truck bedliners, properly applied, permanently adhere to the truck box’s metal surfaces. For good adhesion, the surfaces first must be roughened. Sanding wheels or etching solvents commonly are used for this purpose.

Accessorizing a truck bed with a spray-in liner is usually done professionally. Liner additives allow you to customize the color or to change the liner’s final texture. Because there are several formulas for the liner itself, you can choose one that fits your needs and preferences. Here are two popular choices.

  • Polyurethane – Provides the best resistance to damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When dry, it has little sheen, making it a good choice for camouflage.
  • Epoxy/Urethane Blend – Goes on thick and dries with a bit of texture with or without adding rubber crumb material. It is easy to apply and has excellent resistance to ultraviolet rays. It usually dries to a semi-gloss finish.

Due to fumes, applying a liquid liner can be hazardous. Lung protection and excellent air circulation are essential. The time needed to apply, dry and cure this type of liner ranges from several hours to five days.

Drop-In Bed


Made of high-density polyurethane, each pre-molded liner matches the box of a particular make and model of truck. You can order drop-in liners to fit over or under your truck’s side rails. The ones that fit under the rails leave a bit more load space.

Drop-in truck bedliners absorb shock better than spray-in liners, providing better load protection. Each liner’s high-ribbed floor pattern promotes drainage and lessens the possibility of denting the bed. Drop-in liners are durable, and some come with skid-resistant finishes. Matching tailgate protectors are available.

An unloaded drop-in bed liner is light enough that wind velocity may cause it to lift up and fly out of the truck bed. A common solution is to bolt the liner to the bed. Unless some type of rust protection is applied to the metal, new holes created in the truck box eventually cause the surrounding metal to rust. Also, drop-in liners rub against the truck beds in which they are installed. This movement eventually causes paint scratches that leave exposed surfaces vulnerable.

Bed Rugs

Bed rugs are designed to cover all interior surfaces of a pickup truck’s box and tailgate. This type of liner looks and feels like carpet. Underneath is dense polypropylene foam. The bed rug liner is waterproof and is resistant to chemicals. Cargo does not slide. The material is easy on the knees and comfortable for pets or children.

The bed rug liner comes in two sections that are rolled together. The bulkhead and sidewalls form one section. The second section covers the floor and the tailgate’s inner surface. To install the liner, you just zip together the two pieces and use the liner’s pre-glued hook and loop fasteners to attach the liner to the truck box.

Each bed rug liner is designed to fit a particular truck bed. The rug fits into and over the truck bed’s ridges to form a smooth surface. The bed rug tolerates harsh conditions and will not fade. It is impervious to mold and mildew and is easy to clean with a broom, hose or vacuum. Water that touches the liner’s surface simply runs off, either out the lowered tailgate or through the non-corrosive zipper to the metal truck bed. If the truck bed has drainage holes or slots, moisture escapes through these holes.

In comparing bed liners, consider these bed rug advantages:

  • Flexible
  • Installs quickly with no need for bolts
  • Does not rub or cut
  • Provides excellent padding for loads and protection for the truck box
  • Is not harmed by the sun’s rays, outdoor temperatures, water, mold or mildew
  • Transfers easily from one vehicle to another similar vehicle with the addition of an inexpensive installation kit
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