Pan Head Screws and Hollow-Door Anchors
For hanging most items, including hooks, the This Old House website recommends using pan head screws and hollow-door anchors. Pan head screws are available in a variety of lengths. They feature a generally flat surface around the base of the head and are self-tapping. When paired with hollow door anchors, pan head screws can anchor the weight placed on a hook. This combination is less likely to pull out of the door than other types of anchors. Hollow door anchors are generally made of metal. Drill a hole in the wall, insert the anchor and use a hammer to tap it into place. Then use pan head screws to anchor the screws in place.
Eye hooks are another option for hollow-core doors. Instead of requiring a separate hook, these screws already feature a hooked end. According to the DIY Doctor website, these hooks are suitable for use on a hollow door. However heavy items hung on the door may cause the eye hook to pull away from the door. The DIY Doctor recommends gluing a wooden board, known as a batten, to the door and screwing eye hooks into the batten.
Door Plugs and Included Hardware
According to the DIY Doctor, homeowners can safely use the hardware included with their metal hooks, if they properly prep the door. Use plastic door plugs to properly anchor hardware in place. These plastic hooks come in many varieties and are available at hardware store. They are similar to metal hollow-door anchors, but they are made of flexible plastic materials. Insert plugs into a drilled pilot hole. Hammer the plugs into the hole until they are level with the surface of the door. Then screw the door hooks in place using the hardware included in the package.