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We had a full bathroom renovation start while we were out of town. We just came home to discover that our contractor installed our toilet with the supply line leaking. The tile floor beneath the toilet was not yet grouted:

Toilet supply line, with water shown below from leak

The kitchen is below this toilet/bathroom. The water leaked through an area of plaster ceiling roughly 3 feet by 3 feet, dislodging some paint and dripping into the kitchen:

Kitchen plaster ceiling with water dripping, paint dislodged

(This is in the United States.)

I'm wondering: Is this ceiling damage superficial? Can it be remedied with a simple coat of paint, or does this need to be torn out and replaced? I'm interested in the community opinion so I don't have to rely only on what the contractor tells us.

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    Plaster and/or drywall and water do not mix well, especially long term(more than minutes). Fix is remove and replace.
    – crip659
    Jan 23, 2022 at 19:57
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    Never rely on what a defending contractor has to say about a mistake they made. Get a second opinion, & a lawyer if needs be. The first photo of that plasterwork would have any judge on your side.
    – Tetsujin
    Jan 23, 2022 at 20:05

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Not superficial.

Tear out and replace.

Hope you don't have to take them to court to make that happen on their dime, but you might. There may be other avenues if they don't offer to do the right thing like bringing them up to whatever board oversees contractor's licenses in your area. ...And then it slides off into being a question for Law, not Home Improvement.

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    For what it is worth, our contractor took one look and said "we'll have to cut that out and replace it." So you were correct, and luckily our contractor agreed. Thanks! Jan 24, 2022 at 19:00

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