The ceiling has been repaired in the downstairs flat. Here are some pics of the damage. The first image is after leak number one, the second image is after leak number two, and the third image is our kitchen floor.
It’s quite astonishing how many layers there are between our home and the home below. Our neighbour has a false kitchen ceiling, and then the original kitchen ceiling (both had to be replaced), then some wooden floor boards, then another layer of wooden floor boards, then particle board, and then laminate flooring. All these layers span a distance of around 1 metre.
Now that I know where the pipe is, it seems crazy that the original engineer thought he could get to our pipe from below. He would never have reached it. They should have gone through our floor right from the start (GrahamWithHats you were right).
Why do they bury pipes beneath floorboards? We’re contemplating installing new pipes in our kitchen and keeping them exposed all the way from our hot water cylinder to the kitchen sink. Exposed pipes can look really nice and it’s impractical to bury them. Expensive too. I found these pics on the web. I doubt our kitchen will ever look as trendy as that first one but you get the general idea.