Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

When you think of homes in New York City, chances are you picture high-rise buildings with hundreds of units or charming and historic row houses and brownstones lining the streets. Another common type of apartment you’re likely to find is a floor-through apartment. You can find these apartments throughout the city, and other places around the US, where row houses and brownstones are found.

So how exactly is a floor-through apartment different from a standard one or two-bedroom apartment? We’ll explain this style’s layout, pros and cons, and how you can find floor-through apartments where you’re renting. Let’s dive in.

red exterior row home with a stoop and trees outside

What is a floor-through apartment?

A floor-through apartment is a type of apartment that takes up the entire floor of a building. Unlike a railroad apartment, a unit that extends from the front of the building to the back, a floor through encompasses the full floor. Depending on the style of the home, railroad and floor-through may be used synonymously. These are often found in brownstones, condos, or townhouses that have been subdivided into three or more units.

However, you can often find luxury floor-through style apartments as penthouses since many take up the full floor. These are typically pricier than a converted brownstone floor-through apartment since they often have high-end features, amenities, and sprawling views.

living room with furniture, large windows, and hardwood floors

Common features of floor-through apartments

A floor-through apartment is full of unique features, much like the brownstones they are found in. You’ll often find floor-to-ceiling windows located in the front and the back of the home. Since brownstones are often connected to other buildings, like row houses, it’s unlikely you’ll find windows on the side of the home unless the home is located on a corner. However, this window placement leads to good air circulation and cross ventilation.

Many floor-through apartments are in older buildings, so you may find great features like hardwood floors, oversized windows, high ceilings, and multiple bedrooms. It’s also common to find a one or two-bedroom unit with a kitchen, separate living area, and bathroom.

A floor-through apartment floor plan is typically the same but can vary if you’re looking at units in a new building or a penthouse. The bedrooms are typically located at the front of the home, with the kitchen and bathroom in the middle portion of the unit. The living area is often at the back of the apartment and is typically quite spacious. If the unit is located on the ground floor, you may also have a patio or terrace space. Upper levels may have a balcony.

one bedroom with exposed brick wall, a window, and brown furnishings

Pros and cons of a floor-through apartment

Whether you’re looking for a short-term corporate apartment or a modern loft apartment, there are pros and cons to any style. So let’s look at some of the common advantages and disadvantages of a floor-through apartment.

Pros of floor-through apartments

Private: One major advantage of a floor-through apartment is the privacy. You have an entire floor to yourself, with no neighbors. Depending on your floor, you may have upstairs neighbors, so you may still hear some noise.

Noise: As mentioned previously, the noise control in floor-through apartments is often better than in a standard apartment where you have neighbors on either side and above you.

Spacious: Since they utilize the full floor of a building, these units are typically larger than a standard studio or one-bedroom apartment you’ll find on the rental market. The living room is often large, which is a plus for many. The high ceilings add to the spacious feeling of these apartments.

Cons of floor-through apartments

Natural light: While you’ll often find lots of natural light in the front or back of the apartment, rooms located on the interior typically lack some lighting.

Amenities: Since most floor-through apartments are in older buildings, you may find that there’s a lack of amenities often found in more luxury apartment buildings. However, this may not be that much of a con, depending on your budget and preferences. Some buildings may be renovated with modern features like stainless steel appliances, new hardwood floors, and more. And many still have an in-unit laundry room. 

Price: Due to their size, floor-through apartments are often a little more expensive than traditional apartments. Compared to a penthouse floor-through unit, the price is usually cheaper if you rent a floor on a converted condo, townhouse, or brownstone.

homes on a street in brooklyn new york

Where can you find a floor-through apartment?

Many floor-through apartments are located in New York, NY, particularly in neighborhoods like Brooklyn and Upper West Side. You can also find floor-through apartments in cities like San Francisco, CA, Philadelphia, PA, Boston, MA, and other cities where rowhomes, condos, and townhouses are common.

Is a floor-through apartment right for you?

Choosing the right apartment depends on your needs, how much rent you can afford, your must-haves, and what you can live without. A floor-through apartment may be right for you if you’re looking for a large space with the character and charm of a classic row house or brownstone. However, if you don’t need much space or want a unit in a newer building, a floor-through apartment may not be best. But in the end, there are countless apartment styles to fit your needs as a renter.

The post What is a Floor-Through Apartment? A Spacious and Charming Unit appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.

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