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What You Need to Know Before Planning a Custom Metal Grille Project
Posted Tue, August 6, 2019

We live in a world today where constant upgrades are the norm and consumers are in search of bigger and better things. Maybe it’s time to upgrade the bathroom or redo the kitchen at your residential property. Or you may want to spruce up a commercial setting for the office or your business.

Sure, that new tile backsplash, fresh coat of paint, designer furniture or new sink with a fancy faucet can aid in the transformation of your property and increase the value. But it’s important to remember how the small details, such as a custom metal grille project, can elevate a space and add a custom finish to any room.

This is where Coco Architectural can help. Interested in a historic renovation and in search of a metal grille to complement your dream room? We can help with that. Need a modern finish to a particular design element? We’ve got you covered.

The process of planning and completing a custom metal grille project doesn’t have to be daunting. Here’s everything you need to know before you start.

Custom metal grille benefits

Whether it’s during the planning process or the middle of a project you’ve already started, it’s easy to forget about fixtures. And when it finally dawns on you, it’s even easier to jump in your car and run to your closest big box store for a temporary fix.

A metal grille is a permanent fixture that functions as either an air supply or return vent. You’ll find these installed in ceilings, walls or floors. Yes, these catch the eye, but they serve a functional purpose, too. It’s important to consider air flow. We outline that here, and how HVAC grilles are essential to households. They make your air — and design — flow smoothly.

For residential properties, the kitchen and the bathroom are two of the most popular places for metal grilles. Why? Kitchen ventilation is essential. Plus, an elegant culinary gathering area is often the focal point of a house. If you upgrade to quartz countertops and high-end appliances, it doesn’t make sense to reach for stock vents. A custom grille helps tie everything together.

The same can be said for placement in bathrooms. You need ventilation because of the frequent use and varying humidity levels from hot water. This means updating your vent covers. A few tweaks here and there can top your project off. If you need a visual aid, check out the perforated grilles we installed in a Park Avenue apartment in New York.

For commercial settings, a custom metal grille can elevate your lobby or boardroom. These approaches showcase attention to detail and give a room a furnished appearance by using simple, decorative touches. These are one of the many reasons why a custom metal grille is worth the plunge.

Know the different types of metal grilles offered

Now that you know the benefits of a custom grille, let’s take a refresher course in all the ways you can use them.

Decorative linear bar grilles come in a variety of options, such as decorative wall grilles, modern floor grilles, or decorative ceiling registers. Linear bar grills come in aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel and steel. Check out which bar grille type is right for you. You’ll want to make sure you measure your space and choose your air flow. A large space, such as a lobby, may need more air flow. Conversely, a smaller bathroom may need a grille capable of restraining the air flow.

Linear bar grilles include HVAC grilles. We customize these products for engineers, woodworkers, contractors, HVAC companies and homeowners. This varies from a curved wall that needs matching or a mitered corner that needs covering.

Perforated metal grilles are a specific pattern and generally aren’t adjustable. We use a turret punch press for single-hit perforation, laser cutting and waterjet cutting in the production process. These decorative pieces combine performance, by allowing air to flow freely, and aesthetics.

Custom options offered by Coco

Once you’ve decided to move forward, the team at Coco will help you design, draft and engineer the grille. Then comes the fabrication and manufacturing process. Depending on your choice, this can come via cutting, notching, shearing, bending, perforating, welding, laser or waterjet cutting and final finishing.

We already touched on all of the metals to pick from. You can also customize your finishing options. Choose from satin/brushed, mirror polished, anodized colors, duranodic, baked enamel colors, blackened, statuary/antiqued or oil rubbed.

Check out our L-Bead installation options for linear bar grilles and decorative perforated grilles. A plaster or drywall L-Bead “mud-in” install removes the bulky borders around your grille. A flush finish gives off the impression the grille is built into the wall. This process isn’t new, but our technique at Coco gives us an edge over our competitors. We have the highest level of plaster recess, our welding process prevents plaster cracking, and the core of the grille is removable. This allows for future duct work behind the grille without damaging the plaster.

How Coco is an all-inclusive facility

If you’re asking yourself what separates Coco from everyone else, we point to our all-inclusive metal fabrication facility. We do it all. That means we can design, engineer, fabricate, finish and install your product.

We aren’t limited to air vents, either. We can step outside our specialties to produce residential or commercial items such as ornamental trim, railings, handles and pulls and column covers, among others.

Ready to start a custom project that involves a custom metal grille or any of our other services? We can help. Contact us at 631.482.9449 or If you’re in need of some inspiration, feel free to take a look at our extensive Grille and Metalwork catalog.

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How Laser Cutting Works
Posted Mon, July 1, 2019

We use and see products each day that may go unnoticed. Ever wonder how your piece of metal — with the precision cuts and intricate designs that make it a unique piece of craftsmanship — became that piece of metal? The short answer is a machine capable of quick, efficient and consistent cuts.

In short, you can thank the evolution of laser cutting machines and laser cutting services. These advancements have led to significant growth in the industry. As of 2016, laser cutting accounted for the largest share of the metal cutting market. Market analysis and segment forecasts expect this trend to continue over the years.

Coco Architecture uses laser cutting in our all-inclusive custom metal fabrication facility. We’ll take a look at what laser cutting involves, the transition to fiber laser cutting, how we implement it at Coco, and go into detail about the benefits of laser cutting.

What is laser cutting?

Before we take a dive straight into the world of fiber laser cutting, it’s important to understand the general scope of laser cutting. Industrial manufacturing uses this type of technology for high-power outputs to melt, burn, vaporize or blow away the material, leaving an edge with a high-quality surface finish. It allows us to reduce setup time, cut the need for custom tooling, and provide grilles in heavier gauges that could not be punched.

Laser cutting consists of two categories: laser fusion cutting and ablative laser cutting. This engineer’s guide to laser cutting explains how fusion cutting melts the material before using a high-pressure stream of gas to remove the metal. Ablative cutting uses a pulsed laser to remove the metal.

Fiber laser, gas laser and crystal laser make up the three most notable types of laser cutting machines. CO2 is one of the most popular types of gas lasers, where the gas transmits through a beam guided by mirrors. This process can cut plastic, Plexiglas, metals, and wood. Crystal lasers use crystals, like neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet, to produce high-powered cutting. They are more archaic and, therefore, have a shorter lifespan (8,000-15,000 hours). Fiber lasers use optical fibers doped in rare elements to create quick, clean cuts using an automated system that is easy to maintain should any errors occur. 

Laser cutting services at Coco

We’ve previously written about the differences between waterjet and laser cutting in sheet metal. We use both, since waterjet is ideal for thicker materials and 3D printing by using a high-pressure stream of water. Thanks to new technology and new equipment, we are excited about the advancements in the laser cutting industry.

Here at Coco, we recently upgraded from a CO2 laser cutting machine to a state-of-the-art fiber laser from Amada, a Japanese manufacturer of metal processing equipment and machinery. This particular model, the Ensis 3015, uses fiber laser technology to process both thin and thick materials without a cutting lens change or manual setup. It allows for high-speed cutting in a more efficient manner.

We first start the design process with an AutoCAD file. Having a good, clean file that is full scale with no overlapping lines or unconnected endpoints is part of the battle to get it to run smoothly. There is an additional offline software that programs the CAD file to create the G-Code in order run the machine. Nozzle changes, cleaning, and the Z-Axis calibrating are done automatically. We also have many new features such as flash cutting that can be used. The machine’s computer is as intuitive as a giant smartphone as a way to assist the operator. 

The benefits of fiber laser cutting

Why is this important and why does it matter? We can operate the machine for long production runs thanks to the automated technology. The result is a quality product at a high speed that is energy efficient. We can use the fiber laser for things such as steel, copper, brass or titanium.

The Ensis 3015 processes thin materials up to four times faster than a CO2 laser and has the ability to cut up to 1-inch thick mild steel. 

This technology consists of a Variable Beach Control Unit that automatically adjusts the laser beam mode based on the cut condition selected on the machine control. Users can process a wide range of material thicknesses without exchanging the nozzle, cutting lens or any additional machine setup. Amada Fiber lasers don’t require laser gas mix or mirrors to generate the beam. Individual modules combine to send a single fiber laser directly to the cutting head. This reduction in modules is faster and more efficient. 

A four-station nozzle changer cleans the nozzle and selects and calibrates a new nozzle in less than a minute. The laser head features a water assisted system, which cools down and reduces heat in thick parts of the metal.

Fiber laser vs. CO2

There was a time earlier this decade when CO2 lasers dominated the market. In fact, reported Amada’s fiber lasers were just 5-10% of sales in 2010. Compare that to more than 90% in 2017, and the movement away from CO2 is apparent. 

When comparing fiber laser vs. CO2 laser, it’s not so much about CO2’s limitations as it is about the benefits associated with fiber machines. The cost effectiveness, efficiency and precision with thin materials are key factors. A fiber laser is an estimated 100 times greater and converts 70-80% of the power. There aren’t mirrors or lens to constantly adjust. Everything with fiber is automated. CO2 still holds its place, as it works well with thicker materials, can provide a smoother finish and performs faster when cutting in a straight line. But they are sensitive and can require more maintenance. Plus, the older age makes it less energy efficient. 

Ready to start a custom project that involves laser cutting or any of our other services? We can help. Contact us at 631.482.9449 or If you’re in need of some inspiration, feel free to take a look at our extensive Grille and Metalwork catalogue.


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Your Ultimate NYC Pop Culture Walking Tour
Posted Mon, June 17, 2019

A photo of the a bridge in New York City

Millions — try 65.2 million visitors, according to 2018 tourism figures — flock to New York City each year. And when it comes to discovering this tourist destination, the options are endless — food, architecture, art, theater, to name a few. This sprawling city covers more than 302.6 square miles, but let’s make one thing clear: New York is a walking city. Sure, the transit system, including buses and subways, is robust, but a true appreciation for the city comes from strolling on foot.

When moving around New York City, the natural reaction is to look up. Why? Because of the massive skyscrapers towering overhead. But, there’s much more to this famed city than mile-high steel giants. Tours are ideal for exploring, and self-guided walking tours are even better. The good news is your wallet stays in your pocket for these tours.

Read on as we navigate a self-guided, architecture-centered pop culture walking tour of some of the city’s best offerings, with the focus on architecture around Manhattan, one of the city’s five boroughs. And we’ll avoid the typical tourist destinations like the Empire State Building, Ellis Island or the Statue of Liberty. This is a mix of the best architecture, exploring both architectural history and design, centered around music, theater and other notable historic buildings.

Can’t-Miss Famous NYC Music Venues (Broadway) — 2.7 miles

An iconic piece of New York City is a good place to begin. Madison Square Garden, a multi-purpose venue located on West 33rd Street and Eighth Avenue, is home to sporting events — and teams like the NBA’s New York Knicks and the NHL’s New York Rangers — but its claim to fame is the music scene. From Madonna to Bruce Springsteen, Madison Square Garden hosts the most noteworthy events in the city.

When you’re done marveling at the size — MSG’s massive structure spans half of a city block — head a half-mile north to the Town Hall, a cozy music venue that is a National Historic Landmark. This is an appetizer before moving a half-mile up Sixth Avenue to another historic venue, Radio City Music Hall. This art deco style structure is known for its neon bright exterior lights. A more intimate venue compared to MSG, the 6,000-seat center has hosted a laundry list of performers like Pink Floyd and Britney Spears.

A photo of Carnegie Hall in New York City

A 10-minute stroll northwest leads you to Carnegie Hall, an international standard for music since the late 1880s. The hall is unique with an exterior constructed from masonry. From there, walk past Central Park to West 62nd Street, where you’ll find the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and David Geffin Hall. The Lincoln Center hosts a mix of performances like the New York City Opera. David Geffin Hall is the home of the New York Philharmonic.

Finally, take one more half-mile walk to the Beacon Theatre, an art deco style venue restored in 2009. If you want to extend your trip by an additional mile, feel free to start in Lower Manhattan at Irving Plaza and Webster Hall. Webster Hall may be unassuming from the exterior, but its interior is notable for terra-cotta architecture.

Relishing in Famous NYC Theater Venues (Midtown Manhattan/Upper West Side) — .8 miles

Consider this a short but engaging tour as these venues all fall within a half-mile of one another. Start at Shubert Alley, often noted as the geographical center of Broadway theater. This narrow walkway between West 44th Street and West 45th Street is popular before and after showtimes, when theater-goers spill out into the streets. While you’re there, check out the Booth Theatre and Shubert Theatre. They share a Venetian Renaissance-style facade.

From there, head south on Seventh Avenue to West 43rd Street to the Paramount Building, a 33-story office building once home to the 3,664-seat Paramount Theatre. Travel back north a couple blocks to West 45th Street to the Lyceum Theater, Broadway’s oldest continually operating theater. This petite venue (922 seats) is designed in the Beaux Arts style of architecture. Continue on west to 46th Street to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. This 1,505-seat venue was a trend-setter, as it previously boasted a retractable roof for performances during the summer months. After a full gut, the theater debuted a redesign in the 1950s.

Buildings on Broadway in New York City

If you head west back to Seventh Avenue, you’ll pass the George M. Cohan Statue, a sculpture consisting of a granite pedestal and granite base. Cohan was a famous entertainer known for his musical comedy. He is often referred to as “The man who created Broadway.”

Next, continue north through Times Square to West 47th Street and West 48th Street, where you’ll encounter the Barrymore Theatre and the Longacre Theatre. The Barrymore, named after actress Ethel Barrymore, features an exterior modeled after public baths in Rome, with a two-story terra-cotta grillwork screen. The Longacre catches your eye with a French Neo-classical-style exterior.

A Stroll Back in Time With Notable Historic NYC Architecture (Lower Manhattan) — 3.7 miles

Lower Manhattan is known for Wall Street, the Financial District, Battery Park and the site of 9/11. Let’s revel in history, though, with some of the oldest buildings in the city. Start at Trinity Church on lower Broadway. This Episcopal Parish church has been a notable part of the city for more than 300 years, navigating through several rebuilds and construction efforts. Once you marvel in the Neo-Gothic architecture, move a block over to Federal Hall National Memorial, often referred to as the birthplace of American Government — George Washington took the oath of office as the first president here. The first structure, built in 1703, lasted until 1812 to make way for the current Greek Revival build.

A seven-minute stroll north takes you to St. Paul’s Chapel, the Georgian-style building that is the oldest surviving church in the city. The Woolworth Building lies ahead a block north. This skyscraper held the title of tallest building in the world from 1913 to 1930. It now is comprised mostly of residences and office space.

A photo of New York City Hall

Across the way to the east is City Hall Park, where you’ll find New York City Hall. Built in 1812, the building features French Renaissance Revival on the exterior and Georgian Revival on the interior. A 1.5-mile walk through Chinatown leads you to the next stop, the Tenement Museum. This Lower East Side site, converted from apartments to a museum, earned a National Historic Landmark designation.

If your Fitbit/Apple Watch is feeling lonely, finish with a two-mile hike to the Flatiron District where you can’t miss the Flatiron Building. Located on East 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue, this structure is one of the more iconic skyscrapers in the city and features Renaissance Revival architecture.

Has this architecture/history lesson inspired you? Contact us at 631-482-9449 or to see how you can add some architectural style elements to your home or office. If you’re ready to get started on a project, download our product catalog or request a quote for more information. For over a century, we have focused on experience, quality and service to help you find the perfect solutions for your projects. Whether you need a linear bar grille, perforated metal grille or custom metal product, our team is ready to help.

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How an Architectural Grille Can Elevate Your Boardroom
Posted Fri, June 14, 2019

A corporate boardroom featuring architectural grilles

Your company’s boardroom serves as a crucial and elevated component of your office space, providing an essential area reserved for the most important of tasks.

After all, a boardroom is the place where directors and executives deliberate while making key decisions, relay information to stakeholders, and meet with staff to ensure things are running as efficiently as possible. The interior features of a boardroom can affect the overall feel and environment within, which is why companies should devote plenty of attention to its visuals and functionality.

Installing an architectural grille is a simple and effective way to ensure your boardroom has its best possible look.

Below, we tell you three distinct ways a decorative or customized grille can take your boardroom to the next level.

Showcases Attention to Detail

Boardrooms are reflective of a company’s brand and a vital part of how the company functions as a whole. The decisions made within a boardroom’s walls are typically what drives the strategy and philosophy of a company — decisions that are often based on the smallest of details.

Because of this, boardrooms should have a certain reverence and aesthetic that sets the tone, conveying the importance of the discussions and meetings that occur within them. It’s true that a great deal of thought usually goes into the decor and furnishings of a boardroom, but small details like grilles tend to be overlooked in the end.

Finishing off the decor and style of a boardroom with high-quality architectural grilles sends a signal to any person who enters that every detail matters.

Provides Subtle Decorative Touch

For most boardrooms, decor and furnishings tend to be minimal, providing more of a focus on who is in the room and what’s going on inside. This places an added emphasis on each part of the boardroom, whether it’s the furniture, wall colors, lighting, flooring, and so on.

Installing an architectural grille gives you added control over every last feature in the room. By choosing a decorative grille over a generic one, you’re providing the boardroom with a subtle style boost that only adds to its overall appeal and look.

Gives the Room a Fully Finished Appearance

There’s typically a lot of thought and effort that goes into interior design of a boardroom, but overlooking built-in aspects such as air supplies and return vents can leave the room with an unfinished look.

Swapping out a generic or low-end grille with a custom version of your choosing creates a more seamless aesthetic that either retains or even improves overall functionality as well. Furthermore, when you consider that the majority of boardroom and conference rooms tend to have multiple grilles instead of one, outfitting each vent with a cohesive and upscale grille design truly ensures a complete style.

Give Your Boardroom the Look it Needs with Grilles from Coco

Coco Architectural Grilles has over 100 years of experience crafting the finest custom metal products in the industry. Our team can create the perfect grilles for any space, including all commercial properties and interiors.

Ready to outfit your boardroom with a superior architectural grille from Coco? Feel free to browse or download our product catalog for a detailed list of available products! If you’d prefer a consultation with one of our experts, or would like to order your custom grilles today, please  contact us at 631.482.9449 or

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The Future of Metalworking
Posted Wed, June 12, 2019

A machine makes cuts into a metal sheet.

Metalworking has certainly witnessed lots of changes over time, with plenty of advancements in technology since the early days of merely shaping metal sheets by banging them with hammers.  

Today’s metalworking and fabrication industries now rely more on technology and science instead of hard labor. Although innovations and advancements have always been a part of shaping the way metalworking is done, many of the most recent developments are taking the craft to new heights far and above where it was even a decade ago.

So, what’s next for the field of metalworking? Quite a lot, actually. Below, we’ve highlighted three major areas that are expected to drive significant changes to the industry in the coming years.

3D Printing

When 3D printing first hit the scene, it was viewed more as a niche method that was still far away from being a functional choice for metalworking. Since then, 3D printing has indeed become functional within the metal fabrication industry, becoming more widespread and used for a number of different applications.

With 3D metal printing, metal components undergo a “printing” process that shapes, cuts, and molds the metal to achieve the design, size, and structure set forth by a digitally formatted design. Simply put, this allows metalworkers to upload or scan in the dimensions, setting the stage for the printer to do the rest of the work.

Although 3D printing is still considered to be in its early period, new developments and innovations are being implemented rapidly, making the technology more accessible, and more versatile for a number of different metal industries.

Industry 4.0 Automated Metalworking

You may not be aware, but we are currently in the midst of what experts call Industry 4.0, which refers to the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. These tech products typically include a combination of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, and cognitive computing.

Automation has been present in metalworking for years, but Industry 4.0 capabilities represent a major change. This technology gives equipment a broader range of abilities that can cut down on the amount of time needed to perform their task while also providing a more comprehensive set of features that can handle an entire process from start to finish rather than using multiple machines and tools.

For example, a slotted piece of metal can be fed into an Industry 4.0-level machine, which will then calculate the needed alterations, followed by turning, shearing, rolling, and cutting the metal piece to exact specifications — all with just the push of a button.

Advanced Safety Features

Much of the same technology and advancements that allow for smarter and more efficient metalworking tools also help to create safer conditions. This is accomplished in several different ways.

For one, the improvement in sensors and automated machines allows for real-time communication with some of these machines, enabling them to pinpoint when certain parts are wearing down, or possibly malfunctioning — an advantage that reduces faulty machinery and resulting accidents.

Metalworking is Always Evolving

With over a century of experience, Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft has seen plenty of change in the metalworking industry, and our expertise has only improved and persevered alongside any developments to the technology used. Today, our metalwork professionals use time-proven techniques in addition to working with the most advanced technology available. As a result, we maintain the ability to craft practically any metal product for almost any customer need.

Planning a custom metal project? We can help. Contact us at 631.482.9449 or If you’re in need of some inspiration, feel free to take a look at our extensive Grille and Metalwork catalogue.

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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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