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By: The Brennan Team

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February 20th, 2018

Milgard Tuscany vs Milgard Essence - Milgard Windows Review

Windows | Replacement Windows | Milgard Windows and Doors

When you’re looking for replacement windows for your home, it’s often hard to know which product to select - it’s so hard to look at your options without a direct, side-by-side comparison. Not only are there a plethora of window manufacturers, the manufacturers themselves often times offer multiple different products. With so many choices out there we wanted to help you clear some of that up with a direct side-by-side comparison. In this post, we will compare 2 different Milgard product offerings: The Milgard Tuscany Window and the Milgard Essence window.


1. Frame Composition

MIlgard Tuscany:

A combination of quality material and innovative engineering help create a high performance vinyl window. To ensure top quality from start to finish, Milgard begins by precisely controlling their vinyl compound formulation to withstand harsh climate conditions. Milgard extrudes their own frame material, and fabricate all  windows to order, giving them the tightest control over quality. 


Milgard Essence:

Essence windows are not merely a ‘fiberglass-clad’ wood product, but a true wood window enveloped by a tough, durable fiberglass frame. Milgard's secure connecting system firmly joins the wood interior frame to its fiberglass exterior frame for an aesthetically superior appearance with no unsightly nail holes or staples.

Essence Series fiberglass exteriors are resistant to water, cold, heat, insects, salt air and ultraviolet rays for long-lasting performance and low-maintenance. The powder-coated fiberglass exterior finish won’t crack, peel, bend, warp or stick due to expansion and contraction.

Every Essence Series window and patio door is designed and assembled in the U.S. and custom made to exact size and specifications.

Milgard Tuscany Milgard Essence
Vinyl Fiberglass Exterior/Wood Interior

Essence_casement_sill detail.jpg

Milgard Essence Casement Cross-Section

2. Energy Performance

Although the windows are both made out of the same material, the Milgard Tuscany window does not come with an argon-fill option in Texas. This is due to the fact that Tuscany windows are made in Colorado and shipping them to Texas, over the continental divide, causes problems with sealed glass units. Becauae of this the Milgard Tuscany does not meet the certain criteria needed for an Energy Star South-Central qualification. This applies only to Tuscany units that are shipped to Texas. Tuscany units that are manufactured & shipped in the Western U.S.  will meet the Energy Star requirements for those associated regions. If you have any other questions this Energy Calculator should be able to help you out.

Milgard Tuscany Milgard Essence
Energy Star Southern Qualified Energy Star Northern Qualified
  Energy Star North-Central Qualified
  Energy Star Southern Qualified
  Energy Star South-Central Qualified


Milgard Tuscany Windows

3. Frame Profile

The two windows have quite different frame profiles. The Milgard Tuscany window provides a clean frame profile while the Milgard Essence window provides a timeless, classic architectual look that is synonymous with wood windows.

Milgard Tuscany Milgard Essence
2 7/8" frame thickness 3 3/4" frame thickness
Tuscany CAD drawing.jpg Essence CAD drawing.jpg

4. Tilt-Sash Option

Tilt-sash windows are becoming more & more popular, allowing homeowners the ability to clean their windows while remaining inside the comfort of their own home. 

Milgard Tuscany Milgard Essence
Tilt-sash available in double-hung units only Tilt-sash available in double-hung units & horizontal sliders


5. Hardware

The Milgard Tuscany hardware (lock) automatically defaults to match the interior color of the window.

The Milgard Essence windows have quite a few different hardware finish options such as white, clay, satin nickel, brushed chrome, and oil-rubbed bronze.

Milgard Tuscany Milgard Essence
SmartTouch Window Lock SmartTouch Window Lock
smart touch lock.jpg


Essence window with Oil-Rubbed Bronze Hardware finish

6. Interior/Exterior Colors

Milgard Tuscany

Milgard vinyl windows are available in ten exterior frame colors. Choose from standard colors of tan and white  or enjoy more color flexibility with premium exterior finishes to coordinate with your home design. From the newly popular 'fog' to rich, bold 'espresso', get inspired with all the possibilities.

To create color that lasts, Milgard developed a new coating technology that allows UV rays to pass through the paint and reflect off the vinyl frame. This preserves the exterior color and finish. 

Milgard Colors.jpg*Milgard also offers a  clay color that is specific to Texas

Milgard Essence

Essence Series windows offer seemingly endless design possibilities. The fiberglass exterior comes in 16 designer colors that fit any style or trend. 

Interiors are available in clear vertical grain fir, natural pine or primed pine. Seal or stain the natural pine or fir to complement the wood finishes in your home. Or go with primed wood and paint the color of your choice.

Essence Exterior Colors

Essence Exterior Colors.jpg

Essence Interior Options

Essence Interior Colors.jpg


7. Pricing

The Milgard Tuscany a very affordable window and a great value. The Milgard Essence offers the natural beauty of wood with the durability of a fiberglass exterior. As such, the Essence window carries a higher price-point than the Milgard Tuscany window.

Milgard Tuscany Milgard Essence
$$ $$$-$$$$


8. Lead-Time

As stated previously, the Milgard Tuscany windows are manufactured in a Colorado facility. The Milgard Essence window are all made in the same facility, Milgard HQ in Tacoma, Washington. The Essence windows are custom made-to-order and are all hand-made. Due to the custom nature of the Essence windows, they have an extended lead time.

Milgard Tuscany Milgard Essence
5-6 weeks 6-8 weeks

After seeing some of the product information side-by-side, we hope it's easier to make your decision. If you have any further questions or inquiries about product offerings, we'd love to help - give us a call!