Now the PPOs supposedly were doing a good thing by remodeling the bathroom (I'd have preferred the original everything, but I understand wanting to "upgrade"). See the brown stuff that the tile is set into? That's hardboard. Hardboard is the stuff that clipboards are made out of. I'm assuming that the PPOs used it as a underlayment because it was inexpensive. Unfortunately, it's also not at all water-resistant. Once it gets wet, it's pretty much a giant sponge. There was no worse product available at the time that they could have used as an underlayment in a damp area. Once the toilet started leaking around the wax ring, it just soaked into the hardboard, which simply held the water so that nobody ever knew it was leaking. Our first clue was the grout around the toilet. It started to crack and come out, but we thought it was because of the leaky tank (another story). If we hadn't removed the ceiling and insulation (another sponge) when we did, the toilet was well on its way to sinking into the kitchen. Thankfully there was a joist right underneath it to support the weight, but it wasn't a good situation.
So now we have a patch of 1 x 4s and plywood, and a working toilet. It ain't pretty, but at least when I get up to go potty in the middle of the night, I don't have to run downstairs.
In other news, we started letting our kittens outside. There is some part of my that is incapable of having a purely indoor cat. It seems cruel. Shortly after their initial exploration, the kitties discovered they could climb:
Talk about double trouble.