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Types of Temporary Walls
for your NYC Rental Apartment

If you’re a recent college graduate or a young professional renting in New York City, your approach to leasing may be to divide and conquer. Cramming in a roommate (or two) to turn an apartment you can’t afford into one you can. Installing a temporary pressurized wall that can turn a one-bedroom apartment into two is an approach many renters take.


Temporary walls have long been the answer to the prayers of New York City renters trying to save space and money. A one-bedroom apartment might be transformed into a two-bedroom apartment with a one-day installation and a one-time expenditure of between $800 and $2,000 (depending on wall size and type). Temporary walls are an easy fix for young professionals and students seeking to rent space on a budget, as they provide a convenient and economical alternative.


A typical technique for adding a bedroom for apartment shares or families is to use a temporary pressured wall that is not permanently connected to walls or the floor and does not interfere with ventilation, sprinkler systems, or block evacuation routes. If you plan to work from home, a pressurized wall can be used to build your own home office!


Here’s everything you need to know about safely using a temporary pressurized wall, as well as a list of firms that sell and install them.


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What is a temporary pressurized wall, and how does it work?


Temporary walls are not load-bearing (i.e., they don’t support the ceiling) and aren’t permanently joined to the other walls or the floor. They can also be installed and removed without causing permanent wall damage. There are no nails, screws, or other fasteners required.

When erecting a temporary pressurized wall, it’s critical that the walls don’t obstruct ventilation or sprinkler systems in residences or that they don’t block exit routes.


Three Different Types of Temporary Walls

You can usually choose from three main types of temporary walls:


– Pressurized walls

– Bookshelf walls

– Partial walls


Your budget, apartment size, building requirements, and, of course, personal preference will all play a role in determining which sort of temporary wall is best for you. IMPORTANT: Check with your landlord to ensure that temporary walls are acceptable.



Pressurized wall nyc apartments

Pressurized walls (rarely an option)

It is the only one of the three alternatives that is completely attached to the ceiling. It gives it a more robust appearance while also increasing privacy throughout the unit. The wall is installed without nails or screws, ensuring that it may be quickly dismantled after a lease without leaving even a scratch.

However, finding a building that will allow you to build an entire pressurized wall is extremely difficult. Why? Because pressurized walls have resulted in the deaths of firefighters in the past. As a result, the local government has cracked down on pressurized walls, preventing them from being installed in many apartment complexes.

Bookshelf walls nyc home

Bookshelf walls (might be the best option for those seeking privacy)

Because of the additional storage space they provide, bookshelf walls are particularly appealing to New York residents. Generally speaking, a bookshelf wall is any type of temporary wall that has shelving attached to it. You can choose from a variety of designs, but always keep in mind your buildings’ guidelines.


partial walls nyc

Partial Walls (usually 12 inches from the ceiling)



Because most buildings will not allow floor-to-ceiling pressurized walls, partial walls have been the go-to alternative for New York renters. Partially pressurized walls are installed in the same way as fully pressurized walls but without screws or nails. It is standard for them to stop at 12 inches from the ceiling (landlords frequently require this 12-inch clearance) and feature an opening rather than a door. Although the lack of an entry isn’t a popular feature, hanging a curtain is one of the inventive solutions for filling the void left by the absence of a door.

If you’re looking for a wall provider, here are some popular ones in New York:



Wall 2 Wall NY – Named “Best of NYC 2019” in its category by New York magazine. The price of the most standard wall with a swinging door is $800. Removal is free with 30 days’ notice, which you can schedule on the company’s website. After that, removal is $350 plus tax. The company accepts all payments except cash.



Manhattan Pressurized Walls – Prices start at around $700, usually additional costs for different doors and other features. MPW offers extra soundproofing options to make the temporary walls as noise-tampering as regular walls. The lease term is two years, with an option to renew for free (specified in the lease agreement.) The removal cost during the lease period is around $360 unless you provide at least four weeks’ notice.



Room Dividers NY – Prices range from $750-$2,500, with the average being $1,100 for a wall with a standard door. The lease term is three years and can be extended for another three years for $150. Removal is free of charge during the lease period so long as you provide a 30-day notice.



1Day Wall – price range from about $875 to $1,600. Unlike the other companies, they offer walls only three inches thick, helpful in incredibly tight spaces. The wall can be removed for a one-time fee of $350
 plus tax. The company only accepts a certified check.

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