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I think the floor above the ground floor, in public buildings, is either called 2nd floor (in which case the ground floor is the first) or 1st floor. This is quite confusing since you need to know the name in each particular building, but it happens-see this university map .
Now what is the most common name for it in non-private buildings? What is the name of it in regular homes?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The floor numbering of university buildings (the floor plans that you provided) are somewhat special cases with strange numbering schemes. Some buildings will use three digits for room numbers on a floor (usually because at least one floor has more than 100 rooms), others will use two. Some buildings will number the first floor from above the ground, and some buildings will number the first floor as the lowest publicly accessible floor (which might even be halfway below ground, so that the ground floor is the second.)

However, for most buildings, public and private, the first floor is the ground floor. In regular household homes, we don't usually use floor numbers, preferring "upstairs", "downstairs", and "the basement". However if the need arises (if "upstairs" or "downstairs" becomes ambiguous), we'll still say the first and second floors for down and up respectively.

Also, like the Americans, we usually skip 13 when numbering floors. Beware of that too.

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Be aware that in Britain and across the whole of Europe (and much of the world) the ground floor is 'the ground floor', the one above is the first floor, and the one above that the second and so on. – WS2 Sep 29 '14 at 23:56

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