DIY TikTok hacks that aren’t worth the hype


There are plenty of reasons to love TikTok – its short video format, efficient algorithm, and endless entertainment have made it the fastest growing social media platform ever. Far from being a simple lip-syncing app (yes, really!), TikTok has become the go-to place for quick and user-friendly DIY hacks. But did you know that some trade professionals now warn against many of them?

TikTok has become the preferred search engine for DIY tips on decorating a rental – the hashtag “DIY” has over 191.6 billion views on the app. Many of them aim to provide quick and cheap DIY solutions, however, a recent study by Toolstation revealed the unnecessary, expensive and sometimes dangerous consequences these videos can have.

Toolstation researchers showed five hacks to more than 100 trade professionals, including plumbers, decorators and furniture designers. They revealed that many of these hacks could cost you more in damages than hiring a professional, and they could make the owner very unhappy.

We have taken a closer look at these TikTok hacks to come up with more reliable solutions.

1. Place an epoxy ball in a pipe to stop a water leak

First video (opens in a new tab), this TikToker claims to have an innovative new way to stop underground water leaks without having to tear up your floors or garden. He suggests using a small ball of epoxy – which is NSF approved – to fill the hole by placing it in the leaky pipe.

The water pressure causes the ball to seal the pinhole and within 15 minutes the leak has completely stopped, providing a simple and inexpensive solution to a leaky pipe.

However, according to the Toolstation study (opens in a new tab), their plumber-heating engineer is strongly against the idea. “You’re going to contaminate the water supply because you’ve introduced a foreign object,” he says. “You would need to recheck your water regulations.”

It is by no means a lasting solution to a leaky underground pipe. This shouldn’t really require any explanation, but a much safer way to fix the problem is to hire a tradesman to locate the pipe leak and dig a trench. This way you can also check for structural water damage that may have occurred.

2. Apply wallpaper with masking tape

Most of us have been here – a lackluster rental that could use a wallpapered wall to make it your own. Unless your landlord is particularly nice and you’re a long-term resident, you’re unlikely to be able to liven up your walls with wallpaper.

However, this friendly tenant Hacking TikTok (opens in a new tab) claims to offer a wallpaper solution that does not involve wallpaper paste. Woman demonstrates how she achieves her bedroom wallpaper idea using painter’s tape in ladder formations across the wall. She then applied double-sided tape to make the wallpaper adhere to the painter’s tape.

a child's room with a desk and wallpaper

(Image credit: Mary Wadsworth)

Although you may be tempted to try this hack at home, the pros at Toolstation claim that it isn’t as effective as you might think. “Painter’s tape and double-sided tape will leave scale marks and the longer it stays on, the worse it will be,” they explain. “You could also damage the wall by removing the tape.”

Due to the difficulty of aligning the wallpaper strips, it would also be extremely difficult to get your wallpaper to apply smoothly, so this hack is definitely not as foolproof as it first appears. .

The solution? Speak softly to your landlord! If you’ve proven yourself to be a reliable and trustworthy tenant, politely ask if they’ll let you decorate an accent wall. The worst that can happen is that they say no!

3. Use honey to stick a pad on your sander

This “sweet” Hacking TikTok (opens in a new tab) suggests using honey to stick a pad of sandpaper to your sander. By simply putting sticky honey on the surface of your tampon, the man in this video claims, it will help it stick, allowing you to continue with the work at hand.

Not convinced? Neither is the custom furniture maker, Toby. “This is a short-term fix that will cause your sander to clog, for something that can easily be fixed by replacing the hook-and-loop pad or using a pad saver in the first place.”

A trip to the hardware store is the best way to overcome this problem, and it will probably cost you less than $15. A new cushion will make your life much easier.

4. Remove a flow restrictor from a showerhead to increase water pressure

In this popular tutorial (opens in a new tab), a man demonstrates how to remove a flow restrictor from a shower head to increase shower water pressure. Using a screw and a screw gun, he inserts the screw into one of the plastic quadrants of the restrictor. He then drives the screw into the plastic using the gun, pushing them out of the shower head to remove them.

However, Toolstation’s plumbing expert was not impressed with this shower room idea. “Flow restrictors are in place for a reason,” they explain. “Shrinkage can lead to temperature issues, especially with combi boilers. I would say never remove them unless the manufacturer clearly states that they can be removed entirely.

“Most devices require a flow rated element to be installed, different colors indicate different flow rates and you should always follow the manufacturer’s advice,” they add. A safer and user-friendly solution would be to purchase a pressurized shower head which can be purchased at a reasonable cost.

a pink bathroom with a shower over a bathtub

(Image credit: Kristy Noble)

5. Use IKEA BILLY bookcases for a kitchen island

In this Hack IKEA TikTok (opens in a new tab)two BILLY bookcases are joined using brackets and MDF panels sealed with DC-fix to create an economical kitchen island.

Sound genius? While it may look amazing and tenant-friendly, Toolstation experts warn that this IKEA furniture hack would be extremely dangerous if not secured to the floor.

Bookcase racks and particleboard are also not strong enough materials for a kitchen, which means they wouldn’t hold a lot of weight. If you are looking for kitchen island ideas, it is best to invest in a reliable and long standing piece.

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