Why is My Bathroom Grout Cracking?


Tile is one of the most timeless and popular home finishing materials. From contemporary subway tiles to elegant marble tile, this flooring or wall material is ideal for use in spaces that are exposed to significant moisture, particularly the kitchen and bathroom.

Although tile is slightly more high maintenance than other materials, the luxurious appearance is more than worth it. However, maintaining your bathroom tile can sometimes require more than simple mopping or wiping. After some time, you may begin to notice the grout between tiles cracking, which not only presents a more worn façade but may also compromise the integrity of your bathroom’s tile.

What Causes Cracks in Grout?

Before you can effectively patch up the cracks in your bathroom tile grout, you need to understand why it cracked in the first place so you can avoid the same situation in the future. Take note of where the cracks are forming. If they form along a border seam, such as where the tile meets the tub, or in a joint, the cracks are likely due to movement that has slowly broken the pieces apart.

Throughout the year, your home expands with the summer heat, contracts with the winter chill and bends slightly against strong storms. All this slight movement may have broken the grout apart, through no fault of your own.

Alternatively, your cracked grout may have been the unfortunate result of a shoddy installation job. Grout is a finicky substance that requires a deft hand and extensive knowledge of tiling to be mixed and applied perfectly. If grout is too watery, air pockets can make the grout porous and liable to break.

If tiles aren’t applied and adhered properly, the grout is the last line of defense against your entire tile installation falling down. The stress of holding up the weight of tile can cause grout to crack.

Just like the rest of your home, your tile and grout can fall victim to age. Even if the tile is pristinely maintained, some grout can only hold out so many years before it cracks.

How Can I Fix My Grout?

Fixing grout cracking, large or small, is not usually a job for the average DIY homeowner. Repairing grout requires removal and replacement processes that most armchair handymen aren’t used to. Ensuring proper grout consistency, laying and securing tile correctly and ensuring everything is straight and level is an art that takes experience to master.

While many people attempt to lay their own tile or tile their own bathroom walls the end result is rarely professional-quality work. Give a trusted local tiling expert a call to remove and re-apply your grout, especially when going for a total overhaul of your bathroom’s grout and tile.

Comprehensive Residential and Commercial Plumbing Services in Seattle, WA

If you’re remodeling your kitchen or bathroom with new tile you may be in the market to upgrade your fixtures or redo your plumbing as well. South West Plumbing is the company to call for any plumbing repair or renovation needs. We can help ensure the plumbing part of your project goes smoothly with work that will stand the test of time. Contact us online or call 206-932-1777 to schedule your service today!



We Stock EPA Certified Toilets

It was not so long ago that a toilet used 3.5 gallons per flush and the older toilets from 1950 used up to 5 gallons per flush. We stock EPA certified toilets on every truck and can get you on track to saving water, and being a little more environmentally conscious. Less water per flush means less water going to the treatment plant. Therefore, less water is released from those plants into the rivers, lakes, and streams.

Electric Water Heaters


Electric Water Heaters

Electric water heaters work very well and are very dependable, with minimal parts to wear-out or break. Quite often natural gas is not available and electricity is one of the only options. Today’s electric water heaters will supply enough hot water for the average family and although the operating cost may be a little higher, they are extremely reliable.

Gas Water Heaters


Gas Water Heaters

Heating water with gas is one of the most efficient methods of supplying baths, faucets, or even radiant heating systems with hot, steaming comfort. Tank type water heaters allow you to have 50, 65, or even 75 gallons of hot water at the ready when you need or want it. While the efficiency factor of these tank-type water heaters has increased over time this has unfortunately shortened the life span of these units. The average water heater in our area has a usable life span of 9 to 11 years. The plus side is the newer units will save money over their life span and keep your energy cost low.



We work evenings and weekends at no extra charge.  So if you need emergency plumbing or heating services, don’t hesitate to call—we’re ready to serve you!

We are available to answer the phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We aim to bring a technician to your door at a time best suited for your schedule. Our customer service team will scheduled an appointment at your convenience and our dispatch team will call you with information about your technician once he is on his way.

It is South West Plumbing’s policy to present the full-cost to you, the customer, before any work begins. We work by the job not by the hour. Our licensed plumber will inspect and diagnose the situation, and will give you the cost only after doing so, but before any work is done. We always obtain your approval first.

We promise to leave your home as clean as we find it. Our plumbers come prepared; not only to do the work, but to make sure they leave a job well done. This means clean tools, brand new fixtures, professional uniforms, shoe-covers, red carpets to cover floors, counter covers, and proper clean-up of any materials after work is complete.

As part of the PHCC (Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors) and the NEXSTAR Network we abide by a code of ethics that guides and directs the quality of our service to you. If you are not satisfied with the work of a South West Plumbing plumber or technician, we will do whatever it takes to make it right.

*If you live in one of these counties but are not accessible by bridge (I.e. Vashon Island) we apologize for any inconvenience but are unable to service your location.

Winterizing Your Plumbing


Freezing temperatures can destroy your plumbing system from the inside out. Extremely low temperatures can freeze sitting water in your pipes, causing the water to expand. If it expands just enough, your pipes will burst, causing extensive damage. Fortunately there are several different ways you can prepare for cold weather and winterize your pipes to prevent them from bursting.

Fix All Existing Plumbing Leaks
Even the tiniest of leaks can be a huge problem when temperatures fall below freezing. Examine all your piping, indoors and outdoors, for any plumbing leaks before temperatures drop. Preventing leaks before they happen can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars on repairs before the winter season arrives.

Insulate Your Pipes
Any pipes that are exposed to open air can be protected by applying insulation. If you can see it, it needs to be wrapped in plumbing insulation foam (this includes pumps in pump houses as well). Insulation is relatively inexpensive and easy to apply and install.

Insulation keeps your pipes from freezing by retaining warm air. Not only will it protect your pipes but it will also save you money on heating costs. Plumbing insulation is highly effective and is one of the best methods plumbing experts recommend when it comes to preparing your pipes for winter.

Keep Your Thermostat at a Reasonably Warm Temperature
People going on trips during the winter season try to keep their thermostats low to keep their heating bills to a minimum while they aren’t there, but this can put pipes at risk of freezing. Water freezes at 32 degrees so it’s important to keep your home at a temperature that will keep them above 32 degrees.

A common theory is that the inside of your home is naturally a few degrees higher than the current temperature outside. If it’s 32 degrees outside, then your home will be about 37-38 degrees on the inside with heating unaccounted for. However, temperatures can plummet at night, so keep an eye on the expected lows and plan accordingly.

Take into account the average overnight temperatures of your area over the last few years. This can give you an accurate assessment on what temperature to set your heating at so you can save on energy bills while also keeping your home warm enough to prevent your pipes from freezing.

Flush Your Sprinkler System
Irrigation pipes are a likely place for water to collect and freeze during cold weather. To effectively winterize your sprinkler system, turn off your water and flush any standing or collected water by ensuring you turn each individual valve connected to the sprinkler system.

If you’re going on vacation or an extended trip, it’s best to flush your sprinkler and water system before leaving. After, your pipes will be full of air which will prevent damage caused by expanding frozen water.

Let Your Faucet Drip
It may sound counterproductive, but letting your faucet drip can help alleviate the pressure built up within frozen pipes. Opening a faucet provides relief by alleviating the pressure that builds between the faucet and the ice blockage when freezing occurs.

Dripping faucets can be a serious waste of water so it’s advised that this tactic is only used with pipes that are vulnerable or are not insulated. However, even the slightest drip at normal pressure can provide much needed relief to stressed pipes without wasting excessive amounts of water.

Seal Off Crawl Spaces and Exterior Cracks
Reducing the amount of cold air that reaches your home’s interior pipes plays a vital role in keeping them from freezing. Covering your vents with cardboard, sealing off crawl spaces and filling in holes and cracks with spray foam insulation and caulking can prevent cold air from seeping into your home. Window cracks and missing insulation around your garage and utility doors should also be fixed to not just prevent cold air from seeping in but to retain warm air within your home.

Follow these steps and you will have done a fairly good amount towards winterizing your home plumbing. For more information, contact a professional.

Tankless Water Heater


Thinking about going tankless? These cost effective water heaters have a leg up on traditional units. Tankless water heaters are smaller, allowing for installation in tight spots. Plus, they produce water the moment you need it rather than relying on storage, which means your home has a fresh, endless supply of hot water available.


  • The Benefits:
  • Up to 40% energy savings
  • Eligible for energy-efficient home improvement tax credits
  • Flexible installation options and significant space savings
  • Endless fresh hot water produced at a consistent, safe temperature
  • Energy efficiency and lower greenhouse gas emissions
  • Digital controls offer precise temperature management for safety and comfort
  • Long life span – 20 years or more
  • Reduced risk of flooding compared to conventional tank water heaters

Call us today for your tankless Water Heater Installation needs.

Sewer Line Repair and Replacement


While many stoppages can be handled with a drain cleaning machine, sometimes we find that the main drain is broken and needs repair.

Drain lines can be affected by tree roots, shifting earth, ground water, etc. Our experts can electronically locate the affected area and dig down to make the necessary repairs.

Often it is more cost effective to replace the sewer line at the first sign of trouble rather than to continually clear the line year after year. If the sewer line repair is not addressed the potential for a back up into your home is always a possibility. We offer conventional replacement, trenchless replacement, and if your drain line problem is caught early enough, pipe lining may be an option.