Floor Mats vs. Floor Liners for Your Truck

In order to properly protect the interior of your truck, it’s important to have either floor mats or floor liners in place. Oftentimes the terms ‘liners’ and ‘mats’ are used interchangeably when discussing floor protectants, however, there are key differences between the two. Understanding the benefits and downsides of both will make it less confusing as you prepare to make a buying decision. Both liners and mats will adequately cover the floor area of your vehicle, so the choice usually comes down to your environment, price, and preference. Below, we’ve outlined the pros and cons of both floor liners and floor mats, to help make your decision easier.

Floor Mats

floor matFloor mats generally come standard with any vehicle you buy nowadays. They are what you think of when you think of a car or truck ‘mat.’ They’re typically carpet material, with a rubber layer on the bottom part that lies flat against the floor of your vehicle. Better quality floor mats will be made entirely of rubber, with grooves that catch gravel, dirt and other debris. This prevents any wetness, mud or other dirty material from sticking to the bottom of your shoes, or rubbing into a carpet. Below are some pros and cons of floor mats:

Pros:

  • They’re typically less expensive than floor liners.
  • They are easy to find at your local auto store and online.
  • Mats come in a wide variety of colors and materials.

Cons:

  • The standard mats that come in most cars are typically carpet and therefore require more cleaning than rubber versions.
  • Unless you upgrade to a more expensive floor mat, they typically are a “one size fits all” accessory that doesn’t completely cover the floor beneath your feet.
  • Carpet floor mats can become smelly when wet, as they trap moisture and odors.

Floor Liners

floor linerFloor liners are normally custom to a specific vehicle type and model. They’re made to mold precisely to the shape of your car’s floor space, unlike a floor mat. Generally, floor liners are made of a thick rubber material. Sometimes the liner takes the place of carpeting in a vehicle’s floor, and is installed directly on top of the metal structure of a vehicle. It’s best to avoid “universal” liners as they won’t fit to your truck’s exact special requirements. Liners typically have deep grooves in them that traps debris from lying directly on top of them and against a passenger or driver’s shoes. Explore the pros and cons of floor liners below:

Pros

  • Liners typically fit the floor area of a truck better than a floor mat will.
  • Liners are generally made of thicker, more durable material such as rubber, as opposed to cheaper carpet floor mats.
  • Floor liners can hold up better against burns, spills and stains.

Cons

  • Floor liners are generally more expensive than floor mats.
  • Liners can be difficult to take in and out of the vehicle for cleaning.
  • Buying aftermarket floor liners can be dangerous as they won’t fit as well as custom liners.

Which Is Best?

Both truck mats and liners will protect the floor of your vehicle better than not using anything at all. There are benefits and disadvantages to both mats and liners. It’s important to take into account your weather environment (is it rainy or mostly dry where you live?), your budget (how much are you willing to spend on floor protectant?) and your style preference (do you prefer carpeting or rubber?). “In some ways, (mats and liners) are an insurance policy for your vehicle. Not only will they protect the floor of the vehicle and/or the carpet, they can make operation safer by keeping your feet dry and clean so that they will not slip off the pedals unintentionally” (Pretty Motors).

When shopping for mats or liners, be sure to confirm that they’re fit for your specific vehicle model. “This is vital for safe operation… (and) as easy as it is to overlook the importance of vehicle floor mats and liners, taking the time to research what type your vehicle needs and not going cheap will in the long run be the best decisions you can make” (eBay).


Sources:

Pretty Motors (https://www.prettymotors.com/7-best-floor-mats-for-cars-trucks-and-suvs)
eBay (http://www.ebay.com/gds/What-is-the-Difference-Between-Floor-Mats-and-Floor-Liners-/10000000177404865/g.html)