We’ve covered the kinds of metals we offer and their makeup in this post comparing compositions and use, but that’s not the only option contractors and architects have. When it comes to creating a unique piece of metal for any project, the finish that is applied to that piece is what will make it stand out OR blend in, depending on the need. No matter if the metal work is our linear bar grille or any custom perforated metal; the finish can be unique to the project with a little detail work.
With a chrome-like shine and a lightly brushed texture, this popular finish is used to convey prestige and sophistication. This finish is easily recognizable as it is often found in bathrooms of residential homes, hotels and businesses. We use a belt to grind to create a soft texture and very fine lines in the metal. This finish is designed to showcase the metal itself without masking anything. Whether you want a vent cover in a hotel lobby or the body of a DeLorean, the Satin/Brushed finish can be applied to aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel for that recognizable look.
A smooth, bright finish to metals, the mirrored polish finish is perfect for aluminum, brass, bronze and stainless steel. If the metal is unfinished, the abrasion process begins with a lower grit, increasing grit abrasives with each pass until the desired shine is obtained. The metal finish will have a high shine, like that of a mirror.
Duranodic (Bronze Anodized)/Anodized Colors
Anodizing metals increases a metal’s resistance to corrosion, as well as increasing its strength. Anodizing refers to the process in which the metal is treated and forms the anode electrode of an electrical circuit. This process is used primarily in aluminum. To create this strength, the microscopic surface of the metal is actually altered through this process. Each piece is then sealed to help prevent corrosion of the metal. This strength and protection that comes from this process also helps the metal adhere to primers and glues better than untreated metal. With the availability of different colors; anyone’s personal preference can be pleased in these easy-for-the-manufacturer steps:
Baked Enamel Colors
With baked enamel coloring metal finish, an enamel coating is applied directly to the metal without any need for a primer. This finish is used mostly in long-term indoor applications. Baked coatings are completely different than wet paint finishes, as the baked enamel coating creates a much harder and corrosion-resistant metal. However, the baked coating is not nearly as tough or resistant to corrosion as other finishes; therefore, indoor use is recommended with this metal finish of aluminum. At Coco, we offer power coated finishes, which are baked on as well as Kynar products which is baked on wet paint. Both of these options have exterior uses with warranties that can cover up to 15 to 20 years depending on its use and application.
In addition to these baked on finishes, we also do in-house custom color matches. Our customers can send us a manufacturers paint spec (part number/name) along with the sheen level (flat, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, etc.) and we can get the color match formulated.
Using this finish on aluminum and steel is common as these metals have a tendency to be painted to match or complement their environment. Usually when one thinks of steel metal’s finish, a primed finish comes to mind because of its use in construction. However, with grilles and metal work that will be very visible, a primed finish on steel and aluminum takes a little more detail into consideration to prevent rust and corrosion and more importantly to be eye-catching.
Statuary/Antiqued (light, medium or dark)
There is a how-to that can be found on YouTube and Pinterest for anything and everything. Same goes with creating metal finishes, especially one of an antiqued finish. But duplicating the expertise and knowledge found at Coco is difficult to do. Creating the antiqued finish for metals takes technique and expert know-how to get the brand new wall panel, tree gate or linear bar grille to return to a pleasing, vintage look. Used in mostly historical renovations with brass and bronze, this finish gives the metal a classic look and feel that looks great in a ballroom, lobby or bedroom.
Oil rubbed brass or bronze finish uses chemicals to darken the surface of the metal designed to simulate an aged metal. Typically used in historical renovations, this finished gives the metal a distinguished look that one might associate with earlier time-periods. Though the finish of oil rubbed metal may not exactly match, the one-of-kind, hand-crafted finish will definitely be unique to the project.
This metal finish can only be applied to stainless steel and steel metals. The process starts with mixing different chemicals to coat the metal and results in a dark black, attractive but very thin oxide finish. This finish is only marginally corrosion-resistant so indoor applications are likely.
Coco Architectural has a variety of styles, metals and finishes available to anyone and their project. No matter what type of grille someone may need or what kind of metal crafting is needed, Coco has an endless amount of options to fit any need. Like any fine craftsmanship, a fine piece of metalwork deserves nothing less than a fine finish to bring out the character and quality of the work and materials. With our ability to use both waterjet cutting and laser cutting, no metal, technique or finish is out of reach.
As you know, there are multiple benefits of using metal in projects. Sheet metal is durable, versatile, recyclable, and for the most part cost-effective. However, one drawback to sheet metal is the process it takes to work with the material. Anybody with a sharp blade can whittle wood, but it takes real craftsmanship and special machinery to create with aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel, and steel.
One of the most obvious concerns about working with sheet metal is cutting it, especially when the sheets become plates with thickness of 1” or more. Surprisingly to some, metal can be cut into intricate patterns with the use either of a waterjet or laser, both of which have their strengths but also limitations.
To understand waterjet cutting, just imagine erosion from a waterfall wearing away at a rock cliff – only in warp speed and with much more precision. Jet cutters use pressurized water and abrasives such as garnets and aluminum oxide to cut into material. The water cuts with a force as high as 60,000 psi which is why it's typically used with thicker materials where a laser would either not be feasible or would cut with poor quality.
Fabrication shops that opt to go with a waterjet typically do so for one of four reasons:
They work mostly with thick material or have patterns with large tolerances.
They don't want the heat of a laser to interfere with a cut (small patterns close together)
They work with many different materials (waterjets can cut steel, ceramic, stone, and reflective metals among others)
Waterjet cutting allows the metal to remain flat through the process, while laser cutting sometimes requires leveling.
A laser is a very precise and fast cutting machine with really only one major drawback – it is limited to 5/8” thickness to realistically maintain quality. Modern software enables a CAD file to be sent to the laser computer to begin cutting literally within seconds, which many shops employ for prototyping purposes. Of course a laser equipped with a stackable material tower is also ideal for large production runs with the only labor really consisting of loading the material and unloading the parts. Many companies even do long cutting runs overnight with the machine unattended.
The laser itself is powered by CO2, nitrogen, or a combination of gases that are transmitted through a beam which is guided by mirrors. The beam has an output of 1500 – 2600 watts on some machines and up to 4,000 and 6,000 watts on others. Typical materials to be cut include plastic, plexi-glass, all metals, and even wood.
Major differences between waterjet and laser Cutting
Much like any major decision between two products or machines a company must analyze what their biggest need is on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately what most procurement specialists desire is an end product to print but there are some variances between the two machines:
Some shops employ both a waterjet for larger cuts and a laser for more intricate or automated works.
Common laser cutting applications include sheet metal in both prototypes and long production runs in addition to engraving, etching, and some other special processes. The waterjet is often used to create blanks, for short runs, on thicker materials and where warping is not allowed.
In the end, laser cutting is a very low noise, low pollution, speedy cutting operation, but it has its limitations. Sometimes there is no debate between the two machines as a waterjet is the only feasible option for thicker materials.
We often work with historical buildings in New York and surrounding states on restoration projects that feature metal grilles and other metal work. One of our recent projects was helping solve a problem for one of New York’s official landmarks: Guastavino’s.
Guastavino’s contacted us because they were having an issue with their ventilation system. This space hosts many private weddings and other galas, and the guests were complaining about the uncomfortable, frigid air blowing on them as they were seated. As a quick fix, Guastavino’s would turn the air off or increase the temperature. However, this caused an issue with the dancing guests, as the room temperature would increase as more people began to move around. This caused their staff to constantly adjust the air back-and-forth, frustrating both guests and staff. They needed to completely replace their air vents to create a more comfortable and energy-efficient space.
In order to promote an effective but comfortable airflow, the vents needed to direct the air toward the ceiling instead of the floor. Because the ceiling of Guastavino’s is arched, pushing the air upward would cool or heat the whole room without blowing directly onto the guests. This would increase the energy efficiency as well as prevent a constant back-and-forth of the temperature.
We custom-fabricated nine 4 feet x 8 feet linear bar grilles with an upward facing reflective bar. This reflective bar not only directed the air upward, but also gave the illusion of a flat surface. Guests can’t see into the vents, which gives a much cleaner and sophisticated design to match the already elegant space.
Next time you attend an event at this historic venue, observe the linear bar grilles that Coco Metalcraft created! We are proud to have our work displayed in such an influential New York City space.
Antoni Gaudi is considered one of our Great Architects because his works define the Spanish architectural canvas. Antoni Placid Guillem Gaudi i Cornet’s works were influenced heavily by religion and nature. Though he was a part of the Catalan Modernista movement, his disciple, Joan Bergos, defined five periods in Gaudi’s works: preliminary period, mudejar-morisco, emulated Gothic, naturalist and expressionist, and organic synthesis. Gaudi’s works are extremely interesting because of their unusual combinations of textures, shapes, and decoration. While some of his works are geometrically focused, others seem to have no defined shape. Because of this, it is sometimes difficult to classify Gaudi’s work into one style.
Seven of Gaudi’s works were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO, which means they hold special cultural and physical significance. These recognized works include his most famous work, the Sagrada Familia. This minor basilica is the most-visited monument in Spain, but it is still incomplete. When Gaudi died, the work was only 15-25% complete according to his original model. Gaudi was known for modeling his works instead of drawing them, and the original model of the church was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. The current model of the completed church being used to complete the work is a result of reconstructed plans and modern adaptations. The construction is projected to be completed by 2026, which is the centenary of Gaudi’s death.
After Gaudi’s death, his works were criticized by international architects, who regarded them as “baroque and excessively imaginative.” Fortunately, his reputation started to recover in the 1950s when Salvador Dali and architect, Josep Lluis Sert began to champion his work. The Friends of Gaudi Association was founded in 1952 with the aim of conserving his legacy. In 1963, the Gaudi residence in Park Guell was named “Casa Museu Gaudi.” There, visitors can observe many furniture creations of Gaudi and see how the architect worked. Virtual visits of the home are available online on the Casa Museu Gaudi website.
Currently, you can tour Gaudi’s Barcelona works by contacting the Gaudi & Barcelona Club. This tour takes about 4 hours and you can visit his four most well-known works in the area with a group of Gaudi enthusiasts.
Here at Coco Architectural Grilles and Metalcraft we are dedicated to improving our existing product line and inventing new options for contractors and architects. Our most recent project was to improve our popular L-Bead installation option which allow for flush grille installations in plaster and drywall.
What is L-Bead?
This installation option is commonly known as a “mud-in” and we have a patent pending for our unique product. What makes ours different? We have received a lot of feedback from installers and all of our design features are inspired by their input. We have the highest level of plaster recess, our welding process prevents plaster cracking, and the core of the grille is removable, which allows for future duct work behind the grille without damaging the plaster.
The L-Bead installation option can be applied to almost any linear bar grille and perforated grilles we offer with all finishes, in aluminum, bronze and stainless steel.
Perforated Majestic Grille with L-Bead Installation before plastering
Creation and installation
Coco Metals is extremely proud that our L-Bead grilles are fabricated with material extruded in America. We fabricate these frames from a solid single piece of proprietary aluminum extrusion. The removable core grille is fastened with stainless steel threaded inserts at the bottom of the grille as well.
Manufacturing the frame with the plaster bead/flange as part of the single piece proprietary aluminum extrusion allows cost savings to the end user as fewer components and fabrication operations are required to create the finished product. The plaster bead/flange is also stronger, as it is not a secondary piece welded or mechanically fastened to a standard frame.
Our L-Beads are tack welded at the corners to prevent plaster from cracking due to expansion and/or contraction of the material. They also include pre-punched holes for quick mounting, and have recessed grooves to help capture a full 1/8” mud-recess to achieve a Level 5 Plaster Finish, which is distinctive to Coco Architectural Grilles.
The removable core feature, allows access to the duct work behind the core grille. A significant enhancement included here are the Stainless Steel Threaded Inserts. The core includes welded mounting tabs at the bottom. In lieu of a drilled/tapped hole through just 1/8” of material at the bottom of the frame, the Stainless Steel Threaded Insert is press-locked into a clear hole. This allows a lifetime of use for the removable core option as the potential for cross threading or stripping out of the holes is eliminated. A drilled and tapped hole can be damaged if installers or servicemen cross thread or strip out the mounting holes during initial install or service of the duct work behind the core grille.
Whether you are fitting for a mitered corner or curved wall, these grilles and frames can be fashioned to fit your architectural vision.
This design creates an elegant flush finish that gives the illusion that the grill was built into the wall. This feature is in high demand among our upscale residential projects.
“The long path from material through purpose to creative work has only a single goal: to create order out of the desperate confusion of our time”
-Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Simply known as Mies, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was one of the prominent forces behind modern architecture. Mies was raised by a master stonemason in Germany, and pursued architecture and design for most of his 83 years.
Mies’ works are characterized by glass and steel exteriors, with intentionally minimalist structures. He strongly held “less is more,” believing complicated and cluttered classical styles of architecture were irrelevant in modern times.
In 1956, Mies said in an interview, “I think if somebody takes his work seriously, even if he’s relatively young, he will be influenced by other people. You just cannot help that. This is a fact. I was influenced by old buildings…mostly very simple buildings. When I was really young I was impressed by the strength of these old buildings, because they didn’t belong to any epoch. They were there for thousands of years, still there, still impressive and nothing could change it.” Mies was known for his desire to create timeless, simple, and eternal structures.
The Illinois Institute of Technology created the Mies Society to maintain his works and educate students about the life of their school’s legendary architect.
Coco Architectural Grilles Metalcraft is dedicated to recognizing the architects who have paved the way for the future of great architecture. In our 2015 "Great Architects Series", we will highlight the most influential architects of our time, including their works and character. Enjoy!
"When ordering grilles the only company I use is Coco Architectural Grilles as they are professional and always on time with my order. The quality of the grilles speaks for themselves as I have yet to have a customer who wasn't happy with the finished product. This is why I will always be a Coco customer for life."
FRANK FANUKO - Vice President, Fanuka, Inc. Maspeth, NY
"I am pleased to report that Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft is a very good supplier of grilles and architectural specialties. We recently completed a large exterior fascia, custom and difficult, that was a winner! We recommend Coco!"
Bill L. - , Norwalk, Connecticut
"I wanted to say thank you for creating our custom grille so quickly! It is beautiful and will look great in our client's home. Thanks again for your speedy work and keeping your word. We look forward to doing business with you again. Take care."
Kim M. - , Westchester, New York
"James & Jim,
We want to thank you for everything you have done to get the table job completed. Your diligence, hard work, and sense of urgency is greatly appreciated. We look forward to working with you in the future."
Scott & Kim - , Long Island, New York
"We have been using Coco Architectural Grilles & Metalcraft for many years to help realize our custom cabinetry projects for our clients. The grilles are beautifully fabricated to exact dimensions and flawless finishes. They have time after time made us look good by adding that finished touch."
James O. - , Brooklyn, New York
"Coco Architectural has quickly become my go-to source for top quality grilles at the best price with the quickest turn around. Their competitors cost more and take twice as long provide the same product. Time is always of the essence at the end of projects, and having Coco on our team is incredibly valuable to us. They return calls and respond to emails quickly and that makes our job a lot easier."
Josh W. - , New York, NY
"Though Coco Architectural had most likely never heard of our company before the day we contacted them, the price they quoted and the service provided throughout a most difficult project (the 2nd largest public construction project for the city of Indianapolis) was as if we were their most important and a longtime customer…our “first project” relationship with Coco Architectural has become one of mutual benefit and one we hope to be continuing over the long haul!"
Tim F. & Micki F. - , Indianapolis, Indiana
"Wanted to Thank You and Your Team for all your help throughout our lobby/plaza project. We appreciate your efforts in making our project successful and we look forward to working with you in the future."
Tom S. - , Denver, Colorado
Custom Grilles and Architectural Metalcraft of Distinction
Some may know our products under the name Advanced Architectural Grilles – same quality products, different name. Coco Architectural Grilles is our new name, adopted to honor founder Rosario Coco and to celebrate four generations of metal fabricators committed to excellence in fabricated metal solutions.