Custom Metal Products of Distinction Since 1909


What to Consider When Choosing Your Air Flow
Posted Fri, February 22, 2019

You’re evaluating the grille type and design you want to use from Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft’s extensive line to fit the architectural style in your home or other building, but before you make the leap, you need to consider proper air flow for optimum comfort. How will your grille decision factor into the air flow equation?

What is air flow?

Air flow in the HVAC – heating, ventilation, air conditioning – world is the process of delivering conditioned air to rooms and then removing it from those rooms so it can be returned for re-conditioning. This process is accomplished through HVAC duct work. In a duct, air flows from a higher pressure to a lower pressure. A fan creates the higher pressure while the open end of the duct has a lower pressure, causing the air to flow out.

After conditioned air flows into a room, an equal amount of air must be removed. This return air is transported back to the central air system for reprocessing.  But, not all of the return air can be reused. Otherwise, the air would become stale. To avoid this, fresh air is ventilated into the system through an outside air intake.

The air flow percentage is the percent of air that the metal grille lets into (and out of) the room throughout the air flow cycle.

What you need to know when selecting air flow percentages

First, of course, you need to select the HVAC system itself. You need to make sure that the system is suited to the space to which it is supplying heating and cooling. Make sure the HVAC system ducts are free of leaks and that all the air is flowing into the proper spaces. To get the proper performance from the system, the air flow must be correct. Otherwise, the system performance and longevity will be adversely affected. When airflow is not good, it’s difficult to properly charge refrigerant or set up a gas furnace.

Comfort and safety are primary concerns of proper air flow. Air flow is what provides the proper heating or cooling to a room. When room air flow is low, it’s certain the room will be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It also can affect the amount of humidity in a room, making it sticky in the summer and dry in the winter. The key safety concern addressed by proper air flow is the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning. Air flow imbalances can cause flue gases containing carbon monoxide to spill into rooms.

After ensuring the integrity of the HVAC system, you will want to consider positioning of your HVAC grilles. We create HVAC grilles for all heating and air conditioning systems, and we can customize to your specifications. You can rely on getting the utmost in quality, variety, aesthetics and functionality.  We provide the best priced options to engineers, woodworkers, contractors, HVAC companies and homeowners. Whether you need a curved wall matched, a mitered corner or a special finish, we can exceed your expectations while ensuring that the grille you select provides proper air flow.

As opposed to a shutter-style linear bar grille, a perforated grille is typically not adjustable. It is cut in a specific pattern and allows air to flow freely. To ensure proper air flow, you’ll want to take into account the free area not covered by the metal pattern. For perforated patterns with small vent holes, you will want more free area. This will allow more air to be pushed through the grille. The opposite applies for large vent holes. The perforation of our customized metal grilles are constructed to properly balance your HVAC system. Upon request, we can do cubic feet per minute (CFM) calculations in order to determine the best free-area percentage to use for the optimal grille size.

Are you ready to get the optimal metal grille to provide the best air flow and quality to your space? Be sure to check our product catalog for a full, detailed list of our products. For a consultation or to order your grilles, contact us at 631.482.9449 or

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Why a Custom Metal Air Grille is Worth the Plunge
Posted Wed, January 30, 2019

custom l-bead linear bar grille installed above archway text above photo (Why a Custom Metal Air Grille is Worth the Plunge)

When designing your home or office, it’s important to pay attention to the details. Something as simple as a metal grille can be the difference between a polished interior design and a messy, haphazard one. But what is a metal grille and why does it matter? A metal grille is a permanent fixture that can function as either an air supply or return vent. They’re typically found in ceilings or walls but can be installed in the floor if necessary. It’s common to see multiple grilles installed throughout office spaces, as opposed to one large installation – which is why it’s crucial that you have a seamless and professional design for the grilles.

Coco Architectural has been in the metal crafting industry for more than a century. We have tried and true experience to create the right metal grille for your space. Our team of metalwork professionals pairs time-proven techniques with top-of-the-line technology to create almost any product a customer could need.

Don’t let your interior design seem low-quality by using generic metal air grilles. Custom grilles will elevate your space’s aesthetic and relieve the stress of self-installation. Don’t believe us? Here are our top reasons why a custom air grille is worth the plunge.


Selecting an air grille seems like an easy decision, but many people don’t realize the amount of planning that goes into the selection process. First of all, have you properly measured the installation space? Do you need a flangeless (flush-mounted) or flanged linear bar grille? Will your project require access doors, welded support bars, concealed fastening or other installation hardware? If so, does the general store have these pieces in matching materials? This is just the start of the questions you’ll need to ask before selecting a metal grille for your space.

Luckily, ordering a custom grille can alleviate most of these concerns. It can be frustrating to go back and forth to the store to get a new size or find new, matching hardware. Instead of dealing with that hassle, our team can take your order, making sure to help answer all the necessary questions to get the perfect finished product – like our popular L-bead linear bar grilles.

The Coco Architectural L-bead linear bar grille is created with a custom method to ensure the best quality wall and ceiling grilles available. This includes:

  • Grilles that are ready to install on delivery
  • No reworks, rivets, or joining of dissimilar metals
  • Ability to choose between a welded or removable core grille
  • Fully-welded aluminum L-bead for maximum durability
  • Pre-punched mounting holes
  • Curved or mitered corner grille options
  • Ability to choose an A-frame, band frame or core-only grille

Flush plaster or drywall finish

Our patent-pending L-Bead installation option creates a flush finish for plaster or drywall installations of linear or perforated grilles. Also known as “mud-in,” this option provides the highest level of plaster recess and a removable grille core while preventing plaster cracking. Essentially, the finished product looks like it is part of the wall, as opposed to grille installations with metal fasteners that sit on top of the wall’s surface.

Ability to easily create matching metal products

Why limit yourself to just metal air grilles? Our all-inclusive metal fabrication facility provides our team with the capability to create an almost unlimited scope of products – even if it’s outside of our specialties of custom laser and waterjet cutting services, stainless steel fabrication and custom metal corner guards. We have created a wide variety of products, including desks, consoles, wall panels, handles and pulls, ornamental trim, railings, cladding, louvers, precision sheet metal, signage, tree grates, column covers, retail displays, trench boxes, headers and jams, convector enclosures and more.

Instead of worrying if your generic metal grille will match the other metal hardware in your space, let our team create custom, coordinating products. We work with a variety of metals, including aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel and steel. In addition, we can create a beautiful finish on your product with options that include satin/brushed, mirror polished, anodized, duranodic, blackened, baked enamel colors, statuary/antiqued and oil rubbed.

If you’re ready to take the plunge and choose your custom metal air grille, our team is ready and willing to help! Peruse our product catalog for a full, detailed list of products. For a consultation or to order your custom grilles today, contact us at 631.482.9449 or

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Metalwork in the 1920s – What’s Changed
Posted Wed, December 19, 2018

Two art deco metal doors with text above:

Throughout the years, advancements in technology have changed the ways metal is created, cut and designed. Today, many products can be manufactured through computer designs and machine implementation – but this wasn’t always the case. The 1920s was a period of change for America and Western Europe with the birth of new technology, a rebellious spirit and avant-garde practices. The impact of the 1920s on metal crafting was instrumental in the creation of today’s practices.

Coco Architectural has been in the metal fabrication industry for almost a century and has adjusted to the various advancements along the way. Between 1909 and 1930, our business made many developments in machinery, techniques and the products we fabricated.

Coco Brothers Inc. was established in 1909 with a focus on brass and bronze ornamental metal products. Rosario, Joseph and Jacob Coco developed their metal fabrication skillsets, growing the business with the launch of new products in 1927. These products included votive candelabras, communion rails and sanctuary ramps for churches nationwide. The launch of the Coco Brass Shower Door saw immense success as it was adopted by exclusive residences and all upscale New York City hotels throughout the end of the 1920s and the entirety of the 1930s. Our growth and developments in product design continuously correlate with the metal trends of the time.  

1920s metal trends

The Art Deco style permeated the 1920s with its pastiche of styles, materials, shapes and influences. Focused on forward momentum and modern progress, Art Deco pulled from the “ahead of its time” traditions of the avant-garde movement and geometric shapes to create modern designs. After it was introduced to the United States in the 1922 Chicago Tribune Tower design, it became one of the most commonly used styles in American architecture in the 1920s.

Simplicity was introduced to architectural designs through the rising of the Modernist trend of the 1920s. Beginning in Europe and slowly moving to the United States, the goal of modernist architecture was to create harmony between form and function without excessive embellishments.

Metal trends followed these major architectural movements through their incorporation into the exterior, interior and functional elements of construction. Buildings, such as skyscrapers, began to pair stainless steel and aluminum with Art Deco geometry in their exterior designs to enhance prestige and draw attention skyward.

Developments in metalworking in the 1920s

The American Welding Society was formed in 1919 by the Wartime Welding Committee to promote the advancement of welding and other allied processes. Electrode technology for welding and metal fabrication developed with the introduction of the coated electrode by the A.O. Smith Corporation. The coated electrode shielded metal arc welding (SMAW) process was further developed by the Lincoln Electric Company and became regularly used by the late 1920s.

The Lincoln Electric Company mass produced coated electrodes that improved the usability through an extrusion coating procedure to protect the electrodes from the atmosphere during the coating process.

Metalwork advancements since 1929

Automatic welding machines were developed and more widely used in the 1930s for projects such as steel construction and the fabrication of building floors. Innovation in welding grew alongside transportation advancements by welding submarines, automobiles and ships.

In 1965, the first laser for metal production was launched by Western Electric. In 1967, this idea was expanded upon by Peter Houldcroft, who created a laser-cutting nozzle with a CO2 laser beam and oxygen assist gas for industrial metal cutting. CO2 laser cutting systems did not become commercially available until 1975.

Today’s laser cutting equipment uses high power optics and micro-positioning systems, among other functional features. Here at Coco Architectural, we stay on top of the metal crafting trends by pairing our century-old knowledge and experience with top-of-the-line equipment and safety features. Whether you need a linear bar grille, perforated metal grille or custom metal product, our team is ready to help you find the perfect solution for your project. Download our product catalog or request a quote for more information.

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How a Custom Metal Grille Can Elevate Your Lobby
Posted Mon, November 19, 2018

How a Custom Metal Grille Can Elevate Your Lobby text over photo of metal grilles in the Beacon project

A lobby is an extension of your business. After all, it’s one of your first opportunities to make a good impression. Your lobby should look appealing and make your visitors feel welcome. Imagine walking into a lobby with expensive furniture, custom flooring and a beautiful front desk, but along the walls you notice a white store-bought grille covering the air return – sticking out like a sore thumb. Despite being small, something as simple as a metal grille can make or break a lobby’s aesthetic. Investing in a custom metal grille is the finishing touch to elevate your lobby and impress your clients.

How Coco does custom grilles

Custom metal products are one of our specialties at Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft. We have been perfecting the art of custom metal fabrication for more than a century. Our team combines time-proven metal crafting techniques with state-of-the-art technology in our all-inclusive metal fabrication facility to create high-quality products. We have the capability to create replicas for historic renovations as well as custom, modern designs. If you can dream it, we can fabricate it.

When you order a custom metal product from Coco Architectural, our team will work with you to design, draft and engineer it prior to beginning the fabrication process. This fully-dimensioned shop drawing will display all features for your review and approval. Upon approval, your product will be manufactured via saw cutting, notching, shearing, bending, perforating, welding, laser or waterjet cutting and final finishing.

We offer custom metal grilles in a variety of metals including aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel and steel. Finishing options include satin/brushed, mirror polished, anodized colors, duranodic, baked enamel colors, blackened, statuary/antiqued and oil rubbed.

Our team has created many perforated, linear and custom grilles for various lobby projects. Here are two of our favorites.

80 8th Ave, NYC

We created an assortment of custom metal products for a 2017 project located at 80 8th Avenue in New York City. Our team was tasked with creating custom products to enhance the building’s grand entrance including a custom ornamental bronze grille over the entrance, a custom bronze header and jamb assembly for the newsstand and a custom bronze radiator enclosure with bar grilles in the lobby.

custom bronze radiator at 80 8th Avenue project in New York City

The custom bronze radiator enclosure was designed with a satin finish and custom linear bar grilles. This elevated the lobby by increasing the aesthetic impact from that of a cookie-cutter HVAC product while maintaining optimal functional performance. Even a simple radiator enclosure can add a touch of elegance to a business lobby.

Beacon in Jersey City, NJ

One of our favorite projects is the rehabilitation of The Beacon in Jersey City. Between 2007 and 2014, various teams worked to renovate the ten buildings on The Beacon property to their original state. We partnered with Anthony Guglielmo of Metal Man Restoration to restore the buildings’ architectural grilles.

custom metal grilles by elevators at The Beacon in Jersey City

We recreated the original grilles by the lobby elevators by tracing the patterns of the original fixtures that had begun deteriorating. Our team was able to use the drawings to recreate and reinstall the grilles, restoring the original flare to the space.

As you can see, we can create almost any metal fabrication project your lobby could need. This flexibility streamlines projects for our architects and contractors. Our clients know they will receive expert workmanship and an understanding of how each grille is intended to work in a design. If you already know what product you need, our team is ready to give you a quote and see what touches we can add to your project. For ideas and inspiration, download our catalog or contact our office.

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Antiqued Finish for Architectural Design
Posted Mon, November 12, 2018

Antiqued Finish for Architectural Design title photo with vintage spiral staircase

If you’re rehabilitating a historic property to keep its original charm, an antiqued finish is the ideal choice for your metal installations. Antique metal finishes have been a popular product among metal manufacturers for decades. Demand for the product soared in the 1970s and has continued its popularity to this day. Antiqued finishes are most popular on bronze and brass products, such as our perforated metal grilles. The treatment creates a classic look often desired in a lobby, bedroom, living room or ballroom.

How it works

The metal antiquing process begins with a thorough cleaning of the metal. It is important to remove all oils, buffing compounds, fingerprints, oxides and other materials to prepare for a high-quality finish.

Test the cleanliness of the metal grille with a water-break test. After completing the cleaning process, dip the grille into clean water. Remove the product and watch for where the water beads as it drips. The beaded areas are not completely clean, whereas the water will consistently flow off the clean areas without breaks.

Once the grille is clean, it is time to begin the finishing sequence. To achieve an antiqued finish, the underlying base metal is uncovered in certain areas to create a worn appearance. Essentially, the finish is removed from the highlights – keeping the lower areas as they are. This process can be completed by buffing, tumbling or vibrating.

A buffing machine is essentially a turntable with many buffing wheels (constructed of cotton discs approximately a half inch thick and three to four inches wide). As the grille is moved around the turntable, the buffing heads work on certain sections with abrasive or polishing compounds.

Tumbling machines create an antiqued finish by rolling the metals against each other in a rotating drum. A vibratory finisher operates similarly in a bowl instead of a drum. By using wet or dry metals – or ceramic or plastic additions – these machines can buff the grille in unique ways. While you would think this would create randomized results, the machines can be programmed to create identical products time after time.   

After the desired antiqued finish is completed, a topcoat is applied to protect the grille from tarnish or corrosion. Typically, this solution is a clear lacquer.

brass and bronze pipes

Why choose an antiqued finish

At Coco Architectural, we offer antiqued finishes on brass and bronze products. These metals are optimal base metals for antiqued results. Brass and bronze contain high levels of copper, which creates a beautiful result after the buffing, tumbling or vibratory techniques are applied.

Many designers aim to maintain the original aesthetic during a historic renovation project. Antiqued finishes create the perfect design. You can install high-quality, new metal grilles that look like they are original to the building. Our team can construct custom metal products to match the original design when replacing the corroded or broken originals.

Our linear bar grilles, perforated metal grilles and custom metal products are all manufactured with the same standard of excellence and commitment to customer satisfaction. We offer a wide variety of metal finishing options including satin/brushed, mirror polished, anodized, duranodic, baked enamel colors, blackened, statuary/antiqued and oil rubbed. If you’re considering adding a specific metal finish to your project, download our catalog for compatible products and request a free quote.

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Anodized Aluminum Finishes for Architectural Design
Posted Mon, November 5, 2018

Anodized Aluminum for Architectural Design feature photo with a metal grille across crown molding

Anodized aluminum is the ideal choice for many projects. From highly durable building exteriors to staircases in skyscrapers, anodized aluminum has a wide versatility for architectural design. It’s even trusted to protect satellites in space.

The sleek appearance of anodized aluminum is coveted by architectural designers. We’ve broken down the basics of anodized aluminum to help you determine if it’s the best solution for your project.

What is Anodized Aluminum?

Anodized aluminum is the final product of a finishing process called anodizing. To create anodized aluminum, the aluminum is placed into an anodizing tank containing a mounted plate (an electrode where electrons enter a cell and cause reduction). The aluminum is then submersed into an acid electrolyte solution while an electric current is passed through the tank.

Once the aluminum is submerged, a positive electric charge is added to it, causing it to become an anode. A negative charge is then applied to the plate, making it the cathode. The positive ions gravitate to the plate while the negative ions rush to the aluminum. This process is essentially a highly controlled oxidation process which results in anodized aluminum.

Colorants can be added to the anodization process where the pigment fills the empty pores on the surface of the aluminum and is permanently sealed. Color anodized aluminum has a metallic appearance due to the rough surface left behind after the electro-chemical process and the reaction between the electrical current, colorant, and uncolored metal.

Benefits of Using Anodized Aluminum

There are a variety of benefits of using anodized aluminum which are evidenced by the wide use of anodized aluminum in commercial, industrial, and consumer projects. Not only is it significantly lighter than copper, gold, brass, bronze, and stainless steel, but it has a strong formability, allowing it to be reshaped into many different designs.

cylinders of aluminum

Aluminum’s ease of use is bolstered by its durability. Aluminum is naturally resistant to most forms of corrosion and the anodization process increases its weather resistance. Since the anodized finish becomes a part of the metal through the oxidation process, it will not peel, chip, or flake away. During anodization, the base aluminum is enhanced with a corrosion-resistant and very strong finish, creating an extended lifespan.

Aluminum is also considered to be environmentally friendly and recyclable, lessening the architectural design’s environmental footprint. According to the Aluminum Association, approximately 75 percent of all aluminum produced since its introduction to the United States in 1990 is still in use. In addition, anodized aluminum is a much greener finish than coatings like paint. Anodizing is “recycle-neutral” and does not use toxic organics or volatile organic compounds (VOCs) prohibited by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Anodized aluminum is a crowd favorite among the architectural community. At Coco Architectural, we offer a variety of anodized colors and finishes for a variety of projects. View our product catalog for a detailed list of our products. For a consultation or to order perforated grilles today, contact us at 631.482.9449 or

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