Difference Between Flat and Apartment

Author: Awais Kayani
Apartments Vs Flat

The main difference between Flat vs Apartments. Usually, the flat and apartments are said for the same set of buildings. The flats and apartments usually refer to the self-contained housing units that occupy only part of a building. The area is mainly designed for residential purposes.

The main difference between flats and buildings is technically their usage in terms of language. The flats are used in British English and on the other hand, the apartments are used in American English.

However, there are a few subtle differences in terms of context and location. This article will explain the different usage of the two terms, flat vs apartment.

This article explores the following aspects,

  • What is a Flat? – Its Definition, and the Usage.
  • What is an Apartment? – Its Definition, and the Usage.
  • What is the difference between a Flat and an Apartment? Difference Between Flat and Apartment-Flat vs Apartment Comparison Summary.

What is a Flat

The term flat is used in British English and usually means a set of rooms that are located only on one floor. As per the definition of Oxford dictionary to understand its users better.

Oxford Dictionary: “A set of rooms forming an individual residence, typically on one floor and within a larger building containing a number of such residences.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary: “An apartment on one floor.”

The Usage

The definition emphasizes that flat only contains a single story. The term flat is commonly used for those buildings that don’t have stairs. The most commonwealth nations such as the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and most other countries.

In other parts of the world, most flats are used to refer to the converted and self-contained units in an older building. Also, in such countries, the term flats are also used to refer to the units of lesser quality that are meant for low-income families.

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What is an Apartment

The apartment is mainly said and used in American English. The American dictionary defines the apartment as

“a room or suite of rooms designed as a residence and generally located in a building occupied by more than one household”.

In the Oxford dictionary, an apartment refers to any type of flat that is well-appointed or typically used for holidays. The apartment may not be limited to single floors. In American usage, apartments can be multistory building that is also referred to as duplex, triplex, etc. depending on the number of floors.


The apartment is used for professional real estate and for architectural purposes. They are used for luxury apartments and expensive flats.

The Difference Between Flat and Apartment - In a Nut Shell

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