Bed liners for trucks are popular for several reasons. Of course protection for the bed is probably the number one reason to get a truck bed liner. Especially in newer trucks, a pickup bed liner lets you use your truck as a truck without scratching the bed. Protecting the bed is not just about cosmetics either. A scratched and dinged bed is a starting place for rust and corrosion.
Truck bed liners come in three main types:
spray on bedliner on or roll on
The plastic drop-in is custom fit to your truck. A plastic drop-in liner is tough and durable especially suited for hard use. And the liner is removable if you choose to do so. However, water can collect under the mat leading to corrosion of the bed over time. Also, since the liner has some clearance between the liner and the bed, you can experience some vibration and noise.
Rubber mats are used for bed liners. These can be custom made or cut to fit. You can get mats just for the floor. Or you can get multi piece mats that fit the floor and walls of the bed. Like the plastic liners, rubber mat liners are durable and easy to remove. But they too can hide water leading to rust and corrosion.
The most popular truck bed liner is the spray on liner or roll on liner. It’s a spray on or roll on liner because the material is a liquid before application. The professionally applied truck bed liners are durable and attractive in appearance. The liner protects the bed paint from rust as long as the coating is intact. Also most liners have a texture which is non-slip.
The spray on bed liner materials vary. Some are multi part products with a catalyst that produces a hard finish that dries in seconds. The latest materials can be sprayed up to 1/4 inch thick and still are usable in 24 hours.
Spray on bed liner material sometimes is subject to fading in color from light. Though some formulas now are uv light resistant.
For the do-it yourself crowd, especially the cheap ones like me, there’s the roll on bed liner. And there is material that the do it yourselfer can spray on.