I chose the Duravit Stark 3 toilet because it only cost me $650 complete. The plumber had never installed one before, and made quite a few errors, but eventually everything went in, and worked. Then the actuator failed, so I pulled out the guts and learned he had not calibrated it correctly. No surprise, as the directions contain only pictures, little text. Still, I managed to calibrate the flush to my satisfaction. I am happy to pass on this knowledge, in the hopes a real plumber will log in and add to it.
The "flapper" (I don't know the actual term for this piece) sits over the exit pipe and "clicks" into place when seated correctly (you can't see it from the outside, you have to go by feel), it consists of a white plastic housing with blue plastic pieces that move up and down to adjust the amount and power of the flush. You can find them on the instructions on page 5. Push the long sliding tab (notated as Z) near the left side bottom almost all the way down for full flush, ease back for less. Do the same with the boxy blue piece (Y)by holding the round white pipe piece at the top and using your thumb to push it down (or pull up). The pieces "click" in incremental settings, and the lower they are set, the stronger and fuller the flush.
The "float" mechanism (X) sits to the right, you can screw the foam floater ring clockwise or counter clockwise to set the level of water in the tank.
This worked for me, but I am not an expert, and I could be wrong in the long run. If anyone here has better advice, bring it!
The actuator is actually a little bellows that pumps air through a blue tube, creating an air bubble in the flapper (this is pure conjecture, as you can't see what it actually does), which triggers the flush action. The more air forced into the tube, the bigger the bubble, and the stronger the flush. At first I didn't need to push it that hard to flush the toilet, but now I do. Practice using your thumb and a quick jab. This is something you should take into consideration, because the actuator is only plastic, and I just can't see it surviving the abuse. Fortunately, the white colored actuators are around $30, which you can paint to match the color of your walls. I bought the $80 chrome model, which matches the chrome hinges on the seat.
BTW, the best way to remove the actuator cover (two button model) is to push it sideways to the left, then pull open from left to right. This produces the least amount of damage to your wall finish.
When the seat and cover are up, they block the actuator, but don't trigger it. You have to drop the cover to flush, which may be the reason why some folks install the actuator to the side.
Keeping this toilet clean is very easy, the seat, though expensive, is actually well made, comfortable, and heavy duty. I wouldn't pay more for the soft close. It's quiet, the full flush evacuates everything quickly. The seat sits at least 4-5 inches higher than most standard toilets, so if you are petite, don't sit for too long. Being taller, I love the seat height, and it makes a closer target.
Toto came out with a fair look alike recently, which takes standard seats, but somehow, does not rival the smooth simplicity of Stark's design. I recommend it highly.
Last edited by Terry; 04-19-2010 at 10:07 PM.