How Much Bedliner do I Actually Need?
For the bed of a pickup truck or any other item to be properly coated, four issues matter:
- Amount of actual “spray-able liquid”,
- Qualities of the liquid,
- The application method,
- Final price of product, system or service.
Although there are coatings for “general” applications there are also specific coatings for exacting requirements. So for a successful Pickup Truck Bed Lining with lasting endurance, requirements include primarily very high strength and a slip-proof texture. Other issues like UV stability for long term protection and color are also considerations. The specific application method, i.e. spray-on technique may also differ, but no bedliner of any quality is typically rolled.
When deciding on what product and/or application method to use, certain information for any product should be clearly stated, printed or displayed. The actual amount of sprayable liquid can be unclear, and is important to obtain proper coverage. In the USA, this amount translates directly to the thickness known as “mil height” (thousandths of an inch which may be in millimeters in Canada). Most products use this standard to state the thickness of their products (such as plastic liners, etc.). A typical grocery bag is approximately 1/2 mil thick, and heavy duty plastic bags or liners may be 3-5 mil in thickness.
This article is provided to shed light on this grey area, of the actual, sprayable liquid required for a given spray-on bed lining to function correctly.
ACTUAL COATINGS COVERAGE FORMULA: 1 gallon covers 1,604 sq ft at 1 mil high. A mil = 1/1,000 of an inch. This is the standard reference required to properly calculate how thick a product will be when applied to a certain area.
AVERAGE TRUCK BED: Using a wall height of 24 inches, this dimension chart (for pickup bed tops) will suffice for quick reference although it is somewhat dated at this point: http://www.truckaddons.com/tonneau-bed-measurements-guide.html . An average size pickup truck bed area for a spray-on bed liner is approximately 65 square feet for a full size 6 foot bed. This measurement would be slightly less for compact trucks, or approximately 33% more for 8 foot beds.
JUDGING THICKNESS FOR A QUALITY OF POLYUREA / POLYHYBRID* BEDLINER FROM EXPERTS:
- Under 1/16 inch or 63 mils is lower quality
- 1/16 to 1/12 inch or 63 to 83 mils is good quality
- 1/12 to 1/8 inch or 83 to 125 mils is high quality
- Over 125 mils is best quality
* Polyurea or Poly hybrid material has usual range of tensile or tear strength specs of 1,400 to over 4,000 PSI along with high levels of elasticity, elongation & hardness.
CALCULATION OF AREA AT EXACT MIL HEIGHT: Simply divide 1604 by the desired mil height. This will provide the square footage that a 100% solids product can cover with one gallon of sprayable product. You can then divide your total square footage by that number to calculate the amount of bedliner required. We always recommend at least 10% added for waste to ensure you do not run out during application.
NOTE REGARDING 100% SOLIDS: Many DIY products sold at retail locations and online are not 100% solids products. This means they lose some portion of their volume (sometimes as much as 50%) by drying. For proper coverage, you will need to possibly double the amount of product purchased. All SL&C brand products are 100% solids and cure rather than dry. With 0% VOC, our products do not shrink as they harden, so what you apply is what remains in the end result.