Mortar is important to masonry wall performance, say 95% of the architects and 95% of the contractors who responded to two surveys of Masonry Construction readers in October 1990. But architects and contractors don't always consider the same aspects of mortar important. Bond strength is most important to architects and workability is most important to contractors. Both architects and contractors rank water leakage the second most important consideration, and both consider cost to be of relatively little importance. CONVENTIONAL MORTAR MIXING FAVORED BY MOST What method of mixing mortar do these architects and contractors prefer? Each survey listed three methods: conventional paddle mixers, ready-mixed mortar made with an extended-life retarder, and onsite batch plants. Both architects and contractors continue to prefer conventional mortar mixing. CONCERNS ABOUT NEW MORTAR MIXING METHODS Only 16% of the architect respondents said they had specified ready-mixed mortar, and only 13% prefer it. Only 18% of the contractor respondents said they had used ready-mixed mortar, and only 2% said they prefer it. REQUESTED IMPROVEMENTS What changes in mortar materials or technology would architects and contractors like to see? Both called for more consistent mortar color, more availability or onsite batch plants and ready-mixed mortar, and less attention to compressive strength.