What is the Difference Between Grille Insert and Overlay Grill

Grille Insert vs Grille Overlay

If you're shopping for a different grille for your car or truck, you've probably come across terms like "replacement", "insert", and "overlay", and wondered what they mean. These are terms that describe the 3 types of grilles and how they are installed. Read on and we'll detail the virtues and vices of each type.

As the name implies, an overlay grille installs over your existing grille. Although each manufacturer has their own methods, in general overlay grilles are attached with hidden clamps and bolts. Because this type of grille usually requires no drilling or cutting, it's the easiest and least time consuming to install. The downside to this type of grille is that you can see the original grille behind the overlay. Of course, should you change your mind and decide on a different style grille, the overlay can be easily removed and changed.

The insert grille replaces the main part of your existing grille, it "inserts" into the grille opening inside the original grille shell. Installation of this type of grille is much more involved compared to an overlay, requiring more tools, time and skill. The front fascia may have to be removed from the vehicle. The main part of the existing grille is usually cut out using a saw, and holes for the new grille's mounting brackets may have to be drilled. Always follow the grille manufacturer's instructions and make sure you have everything required to complete the job before beginning. Although installation is more difficult, the upside to this type of grille is that the end product is usually more pleasing to the eye.

Grille Installation Video

A replacement grille completely replaces your existing grille. Installation is just as involved as an insert, including removal of the front fascia. But where the insert is usually cutout, it may be possible to merely unbolt the old grille and bolt in the replacement grille. Installation varies according to how the original factory grille is attached and how the aftermarket replacement is designed.

Always completely read the grille manufacturer's instructions before beginning the procedure, so you'll know the degree of difficulty and what kind of tools and supplies you should have on hand. The end result will be worth it though, a replacement grille looks less like an add-on and more like an integral styling feature.

We hope this has provided you with information that will help you make a more educated purchase decision. Browse CARiD and you'll see we have a great selection of each type of grille by T-Rex Grilles, Putco, CCI and much more. We're sure there's one that will perfectly suit your style.


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