|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 53, Tuesday August 22, 2006|
From all those architectural design magazines, television ads and articles in newspapers, Dhakaiites are now well aware of what they can do to transform their spaces. However, what we don't know most of the time is which materials are actually available here in the city, where exactly we might find them and how much they might cost us. This is an attempt to answer some of those questions.
Jazz up those floors
Ceramic tiles come in sizes between 10- 16 Inches side and are cheaper than homogenous tiles, priced between Tk-30-39 / sft. Locally made ceramic tiles are most widely available in the market, especially those by RAK.
Homogenous tiles come in sizes between 16-32inches side. They can be glazed, rustic or mirror polished. If you want the marble like shining look and feel, mirror polished tiles are your taste. If you want the rough ranch like feel, you would want to go for the rustic ones. Locally made homogenous tiles cost between Tk- 50-100/sft. RAK tiles cost between Tk- 43-83 depending on the texture and type you pick.
Imported ones are also available among which the most popular seems to be those of Malaysian make which cost over Tk-85/sft. There are also Spanish, Belgian and other tiles which can cost up to Tk-350/sft but they usually only come in only one or two sizes and most of time, they have to be specially ordered through agents and the like.
The best way to pick tiles is to walk through the stores along Hatirpul (near Eastern Plaza) and Green Road and personally see and compare to get the ones best suited to you.
Terrazzo tiles come in sizes between 1-2 feet side cost between Tk-40-80/ sft. You can make terrazzo look different by picking out different collared glass strips with which the floors are divided up. The size and colours of the chips used an also be varied during casting to create any desired texture.
Neat cement floors
Marble and Granite floors
Add a touch of wow to your walls
All that's high and fly
Also, the concrete may be left exposed to give a rough, casual feel. In this case all you need to do is use steel shuttering during the casting of the concrete slab and be careful so that there are less stains and the finish is smoother. Sometimes oil or wax can be used to polish this surface or some colour may be added with cement to give it a different look.
Regardless of what your style and which elements you are working with, the thing to remember is that honesty of expression can never go wrong. Whether it's an exposed brick wall, neat cement floor or exposed concrete ceiling, if are not sure what you want, and you don't want to hire a design professional for a small change like that, the best thing is to keep it as simple and true to it's nature as can be something good can always come out of it.
On the cover
There's nothing like the monsoon season to put everyone in a romantic mood. Celebrate the season with a steaming cup of tea in the veranda, where you can watch the rain.
Recycling, to get more…
There are large expanses of land around the country that act as garbage dumps. It is estimated that in Dhaka City alone the daily total solid waste amounts to 3500 metric tones. Clearing, thus, is proving to be a difficult task for the municipal authorities. The locals are suffering from the stench of rotting garbage. Also, this is hazardous to both public health and the environment.
To make the situation worse, people are still not keen on the "techniques" of dumping. Candy wrappers, banana peels, soda cans are simply thrown into the streets. However, street children tend to collect the trash, and sell it to the municipal authority, which does facilitate recycling. But, Bangladesh is still awaiting a large-scale extensive authority to undertake the task.
Nevertheless, all hope is not gone. Old Dhaka is a breeding ground for the recyclists. Almost everything from clothes to plastic is sold second-hand, and it is a very profitable business indeed. Nilkhet encourages people to re-sell books instead of throwing them away. In this way, not only is recycling bolstered, but also the readers may unearth some rare, out-of-print books.
Recently, an organisation called Waste Concern came into being. Its primary aim is to convert household garbage into bio-fertilizers. Furthermore, UNDP is co-sponsoring a program- Environmentally Sound Technologies (EST) - to promote research and waste recycling activities.
There are also various things we can do ourselves with basic household items. Old clothes and toys can be donated to the charity and the orphanage. With a slight touch of creativity, you may find alternative use of vases, curtains and lampshades. It would also be a good idea to get the children involved. Have recycle bins of different colours around the house for different types of items: plastics, cloth, newspapers, etc.
People have learned to consume, but they have yet to learn to replace. So, remember the 4R's (reduce, reuse, recycle and recover).
By Shahmuddin Ahmed Siddiky
| Issues | The Daily Star Home|
© 2006 The Daily Star