Toyota Tundra Truck Bed Liner Options

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If you’re like most new Tundra owners, you’re seriously considering bed protection. Fortunately you have options — lots of them. Here are the highlights:

1) No Bed Liner. It’s cheap, it’s easy, and it could work out just fine. But while you may not ever intend to haul anything that would damage your truck’s bed, you never know when a situation will arise and you will be forced to put something back their that damages the paint job. If you’ve got scratches in your bed, your options for adding a bed liner later get more expensive. That’s because before you add any sort of removable liner you’ll need to re-protect the bed (i.e. re-paint) so that any moisture that gets caught between your bed and your liner won’t cause your bed to rust. If you’re leasing your truck, this might be your only option.

2) Rubber Bed Mat. It’s old-school but it certainly deserves consideration. There’s no disputing thatProtecta Truck Bed Mat a heavy piece of rubber will protect the bottom of your truck bed from gouges and scratcheswhile at the same time providing a surface that has more friction than the factory bed. If you’re considering adding a rubber mat, make sure you purchase one that is fairly thick. Thin rubber mats (anything less than 1/4″) tend to “roll-up” when you’re loading the bed, making them sort of hazardous. You should also make sure that the mat you buy has a knobby bottom surface so that moisture doesn’t get trapped under the mat and lead to premature bed rust. Finally, we like mats that are pre-cut to fit your truck. Those mats you have to trim yourself never fit right and they tend to be cheap anyways. The best feature of a nice rubber mat is that it will only cost you $75-$100.

3) Plastic Bed Liner. Plastic bed liners (or “drop-ins”) fit OK, install quickly and easily, and do a nice job of protecting the bed from most kinds of damage. Plastic bed liners are especially nice if you need to slide items in and out of your truck. Plastic also won’t scratch anything you put in your bed (like furniture), and it washes out quickly and easily. The biggest disadvantage to plastic drop-in liners is that whatever you have resting in your bed can slide around at any time. Plastic is slippery, especially when wet, and we’ve seen big loads shift (even when they were properly tied down). Also, it seems like a lot of moisture and gunk accumulates under the plastic liner, requiring you to remove it and clean the bed periodically. Plastic drop-in bed liners can cost as little as $250 or as much as $400.

Herculiner Bed Liner Install Kit4) Plastic Coatings. We’ve all seen the ads — send in $49.99 and they’ll send you a gallon of special “truck bed paint” just like the pros use. Get out your roller and paint brush and you can install your own “spray-in” like bed surface on a Saturday afternoon. Bulls#&t. Unless you have experience applying this stuff, you’re probably going to screw something up. Worse, it doesn’t always bond properly to the bed, meaning big hunks will flake off at the least helpful times. While we don’t want to condemn all of these products, we haven’t ever seen it work. Proceed at your own risk.

5) Spray-In. This is by far the most popular option, and for good reason. It’s the best looking and most durable bed liner there is. The bed is sprayed with a special polyurethane “paint” that protects the bed from scratches and chemicals. The coating is permanent, the texture is rough (which keeps things from sliding), and the material is nearly indestructible. In fact, unlike every other option listed here, a spray-in liner will last forever.

Line X or RhinoLots of companies offer spray-in bed liners, but the top two are Line-X and Rhino. While you may hear lots of differing opinions about the two products, it’s fair to say that they’re basically the same stuff. However, the installers are not the same. In fact, any stories you hear about a bad Rhino or Line-X liner have more to do with the person that installed the liner than the product itself. The best way you can make sure you get a good spray-in liner is to find out how long the installer has been in business. If you have any doubts about them, get references and check them out. Your local Toyota dealer is also an excellent place to get a recommendation for a good installer. You should be able to get a quality spray-in liner with a lifetime warranty installed for $300-$400 (under rail). Over the rail should add about $50. There are other names out their in spray-ins, and we’re sure that some of them are just fine, but they’re not usually any cheaper than Line-X or Rhino so we don’t recommend them.

6) Carpet Liner. The carpet liner is usually a strong outdoor carpet with a thick rubber or vinyl backing. They’re surprisingly strong and they have the benefit of being soft. They’re especially popular with people that are going to add a camper shell to their truck. The biggest advantage to them, in addition to being plush, is that they’re removable. If you like the idea of being able to see your factory finish whenever you want to, this might be a good option for you. Cost is about the same as a good plastic bed-liner, about $350. The only thing we don’t like about these is that they don’t seem to stay attached, but that probably has to do with the way they’re installed.

You can also add plywood to your truck bed, and there are some cool commercial roll-up systems that literally unload your truck for you (like Load Handler).

Have an opinion about Tundra bed liner options? Share it!

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Filed Under: Toyota Tundra AccessoriesTundra Bed Liner

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  1. […] decision without doing a little research first (Not sure you want a spray-in? See a full list of Bed Liner Options). Here’s our analysis of the two biggest names in spray-in truck bed […]

  2. Reid B. says:

    I must say, I really appreciate the insight and information provided herein.
    I have to say that I searched the “world over” and found more opinions on bed liners than you can shake the proverbial stick at.
    Toyota has a drop in liner optional for $199.00. I believe it is manufactured by Pendaliner. I went to Pendaliner website and found they have a new improved version Pendaliner SR (Slip Resistant). I checked with a local customizing shop ( Pickups only) and they won’t do spray ins. They say the Pendaliner SR is the creme de la crem. Pendaliner has made the bottom and top sides of the SR liner with rubber like texture that really works.
    I have mine scheduled for installation Monday. Also, note that if you have the deck rail system it actually works to secure the bedliner to the truck bed. Pretty cool.

  3. Ken says:

    I bought a T-100 in ’96. I’m still driving it. I put in a sheet of 3\8 plywood when the truck was new. I still have the same sheet in there,almost 13 years. It allowed very few scratches on the bed, comes out easily for cleaning, and it was cheap.

  4. Chad Lustig says:

    hey guys! My name is Chad and I started a company a few years ago spraying bed-liners. The brand I use is called Armorthane.. Its a great product with many different options with a life time warrenty. I resently bought a 2008 Toyota Tundra SR5 TRD in blue strek mettalic and I sprayed my liner to match and when i say match its right on. paint code 8T7 with the mettalics and all then when i was finished I put a TRD emblem in white on the floor and toyota racing development in white also across the back side below the track system.. I’min duluth mn. if you have any questions feel free to contact me @ 218-940-8005

  5. Jeff says:

    You are right about the experience part of the deal, but dont rule out Vortex. Research that one before you go not recomending it. 200 colors and i would say is defently up there with the big boys as far as quality.

  6. DCAM says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, for your comment about a gallon of thick paint trying to pass itself off as bedliner. We’re going to link to this article on our site.

    We get a lot of questions from visitors to our site wanting to know how well this stuff works. We can give the facts based on the chemistry but its good to hear this from a un-interested third party.

    I’d add that it isn’t just the knowledge of the applicator that makes this a poor product…its the material. I would say that not even the Tiger Woods of bedliners can make this stuff look good.

    Also… don’t count out the INDEPENDENT BEDLINER GUYS!

  7. DCAM – Thanks for the compliment.

  8. Mickey says:

    I don’t agree with alot of things and I have been using Herculiner since 94. All 4 trucks I owned had herculiner that I put in. I haven’t had an issue yet with it. It is like you stated you have to follow the directions to the letter. If you don’t yes you will have the same issues with any sprayliner if it isn’t prep right like big chunks coming off and it has happened to line-X and Rhino. They know it as you see what company doesn’t do it right. Call it what you want (plastic coating) being the fact it’s 4x cheaper than your spray-ins. You know if you didn’t want to condemn the product why list it that way in your commentary. If you don’t know the product you cut it short. Again poor commentary without all research.

  9. Mickey – I think that people can have success with the Herculiner product (just as you have), but I have a hard time recommending it to your average joe. Most people have a hard time installing that bed liner, because just about every self-applied liner I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen about 100 I would guess) looked bad. As we say, proceed at your own risk. Thanks for keeping it real! 🙂

  10. Mickey says:

    Understand jason. You have to do it to the letter to get results. Yes it took me about 4 hours to get just the first coat. This is on my 4th truck. You just can’t skip anything and expect it to work right.

  11. Mickey says:

    The other reason Jason I take pride in doing it myself.

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